Motorcycling: Haslam forces pace to seize clear lead in championship race

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The Independent Online

Leon Haslam moved ahead in the chase for the Bennetts British Superbike Championship as he took a second place and then a race victory in the 11th round at Cadwell Park yesterday.

A thunderstorm before the start of the opening race at the Lincolnshire circuit posed tyre selection problems and it was the HM Plant Hondas of first Karl Harris and then Ryuichi Kiyonari who set the pace.

But then Haslam nosed ahead, only to be overtaken by his Airwaves Ducati team-mate and defending champion, Gregorio Lavilla.

The Spaniard took his eighth victory but Haslam, finishing second ahead of Kiyonari, had taken the championship lead.

Haslam had edged ahead in the title table by a single point and he then built on that with a hard-charging ride in race two to earn a second victory in three races. Lavilla finished second, and now trails Haslam by 337 points to 352.

Kiyonari, who fell off early in the second race, has dropped back to third on 326 points.

The teenage rider Ashley Martin has died in hospital from injuries he sustained during Sunday's qualifying session.

The British Supersport team member sustained a major head injury in a heavy crash at the Gooseneck section of the Cadwell Park circuit. Martin, from Shiptonthorpe in Yorkshire, received lengthy treatment at the circuit before being airlifted to the neurosurgical unit of Leeds General Infirmary.