Superbikes - Donington WSBK: Haslam's Donington heartbreak

Pata Honda’s Leon Haslam has spoken about the tough decision to not race in today’s World Superbike round at his home circuit of Donington Park, saying that ultimately it was not his call to pull out, it is probably for the best in the long run.

Superbikes - Donington WSBK: Haslam's Donington heartbreak

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Donington WSBK: Haslam?s Donington heartbreak

The Derbyshire rider, who lives a stone’s throw from Donington, went out in this morning’s warm-up session after having multiple painkilling injections in his damaged right knee and was prepared to race but team boss Ronald Ten Kate said it was not to be.

“The team did not want me to ride, and put a stop to it. But as a rider it is frustrating as I don’t think I would have taken that decision, maybe in the long run it might be the right decision, but I just want to ride. I know the result would not be mega or where we should be but riding around Donington would be a special event and watching is sometimes harder than being out there,” said Haslam, speaking at Donington.

“I could not have done anymore to get ready for this weekend, and I tried to stay off the painkillers till this morning. But the pain went into the knee joint, and with the irritation of the joint the pain shifted, and I did not have any bend in it, and with fatigue I would have dropped off half way through the race. It was not so much the pain stopping me it was more the fatigue in my body.

“Ronald Ten Kate and Honda took the decision for me not to race. All weekend I have been persuading them to go out in each session, but they didn’t want me to go out after Superpole or this morning and they took the decision now, rather than me take the decision to go out, but it is just hard.

“I have done more than enough to show that I tired, but that is not the point. The point is what I can do in the race, but in the next two weeks we can hopefully take some big steps for Portugal.

“I am upset more than everything, these last three weeks have been tough with all the physio and treatments and everything. This weekend was tougher than I thought it was going to be with the pain and the injury, and not to start the race is frustrating.

“If Donington would have been last weekend I would have still tried to ride. Donington was a good track for me to try to come back to because I know it so well, and I didn’t have to worry about trying to be fast, because I know I can be fast around here. Portugal is not going to be any easier because it is quite physical, so I know the areas we are struggling with bend and the pain and the weakness in the leg so I know what I need to work on over these next two weeks.

“I still have got a lot of nerve damage and I have got to have some treatment because the bar is catching on the bone so there are a lot of things I need to assess and I have to work it in to the short period of time that I have got to try and achieve that.”

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