Smalley racer Leon Haslam was in fine form once again as the World Superbike Championships headed to Aragon in Spain.
Haslam earned Superpole but narrowly missed out on a podium spot in race one as he came home fourth, however he was able to secure third place in race two on his Aprilia.
For the morning race, the Derbyshire rider had to deal with the rather low temperatures that he had already faced the previous day and which damaged tyre performance, keeping him from staying in contact with the lead pack.
In the afternoon, on hotter tarmac, Haslam started from the pole position he earned the previous day and played it safe on the first laps, starting to push and engaging in a heated battle with rival Jonathan Rea.
The gap between the two changed constantly, the sign of a fierce battle in which Haslam yielded only at the end, bringing home an excellent third place finish on a track that has never been particularly kind to him.
Haslam said: “I’m really happy about this podium. I knew that it wouldn’t be easy for us, both because of the low temperatures in race one and because of the greater experience our rivals have on this track.
“In race two we made a few small changes to the RSV4 but most of all the different conditions allowed us to be faster.
“I was disappointed not to have engaged in a close battle with Rea. I was faster than he was in a few spots of the track, but I lost ground in others.
“I’m confident as I look forward to the next rounds at Assen and Imola. They are two tracks that I like and our improvement this weekend is an excellent starting place.
“We know what our strong points are and race after race we are gathering fundamental data to improve. I’m sure that we’ll be able to take advantage of this experience over the rest of the season.”
Haslam now sits second in the championship on 114 points.
The next races will be this coming weekend as the series heads to Assen in Holland.