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Shell Advance Honda

Shell Advance Honda

British teenager Leon Haslam missed out on scoring points by just one place in today´s 27-lap race while his Shell Advance Honda teammate Chris Walker crashed and failed to finish.

Haslam bravely battled front-end problems after nearly crashing early in the race, which was conducted before 150,000 noisy Spanish fans. Seventeen year old Haslam is in his first season of 500 GP racing. He had started 16th but lost a lot of time with his near disastrous early race slide.

Meanwhile the steep learning curve for superbike ace Chris Walker continues although the Englishman remains positive despite another disappointing result.

Walker had made a lot of progress with his bike set-up prior to the race and set his fastest lap of the weekend in the Sunday morning warm-up. He made a typically charging start to pass three riders in the opening two laps when he moved from 17th on the grid to 14th place behind Spanish rider Carlos Checa.

The race was won by Italian Valentino Rossi (Honda) who scored his third consecutive victory of the season.

CHRIS WALKER. Crash/DNF Championship: 19th/ 1 point

´That´s the fifth time I´ve lost the front end on a right hand corner and crashed so it´s a bit annoying really, especially as the team had made a lot of progress with the bike in the morning warm-up.

´In terms of bike speed I felt we had turned the corner and in the first two laps I passed three riders. I wasn´t really pushing when I got off the brakes following Checa into turn five and the front end just folded and I was down.

´In the morning warm-up we changed the gearbox and the front suspension and I felt really comfortable in the opening laps of the race but I guess it now means a new set of leathers and start again at Le Mans (the French GP) in a couple of weeks.´

LEON HASLAM. 16th place Championship: 16th/ 3 points

´It is frustrating not to score points as I felt Anthony West on the other Honda v-twin wasn´t riding any harder than I was. The problem was I had a really big front-end slide on the third lap, I was down on my knee and almost in the grass off the track. It seemed like I had a front end problem and then from about lap ten my tyres started to got off and the front end was sliding around so I just decided to bring it home.´

Tags:
500cc, 2001

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