Smalley’s Leon Haslam had to make do with three fifth-place finishes in the second round of the World Superbike season in Thailand - and revealed that a back injury hampered his chances.
The Kawasaki Racing Team star was at the Chang International Circuit looking to build on an encouraging start to the year in Australia in round one, where he secured two podium finishes.
Despite team-mate Jonathan Rea being fastest all weekend, Haslam had to endure problems with his brakes on Saturday which resulted in a fifth place finish in Race One, with two identical finishes on Sunday in the Superpole Race and in Race Two, to complete the ‘triple treat’ weekend.
But Haslam would then reveal that a trapped nerve in his lower back had prevented him from performing at his best.
He said: “Being fifth all weekend isn’t what I’m looking for but the feeling improved on Sunday and I felt more consistent in the final race.
“We were running the bigger brake discs, which I didn’t have the best of feelings with this weekend, but in general we made a big step with the bike.
“I can say now that I have been suffering with a trapped nerve in my back, which flared up just before I came here, and I have had to take painkilling injections all weekend.
“I struggled a lot this weekend and I am glad it is over in some ways. I need some rest and then we can start again in Aragon.
“I had not been to Chang for four years. It was always going to be tough with just two 50-minute practice sessions and going straight into it so to get three fifth places is something I had to accept and be reasonably happy with.”
Haslam now lies sixth in the championship standings ahead of the next round of races at Aragon in Spain on the weekend of April 5-7.