Haslam set for new Russia challenge
Leon Haslam says he cannot wait to get to grips with the new Moscow Raceway, the latest addition to the World Superbike Championship calendar.
A venue that was primarily constructed with a view to getting onto the WSBK schedule, the Moscow Raceway event marks the series' maiden foray into Russia and comes just two months after the circuit was first inaugurated with a Formula Renault 3.5 round.
As such, there are few reference points for the riders coming into the event, though there will be a one-day group test to allow them additional running time before the weekend.
For Haslam, he is excited to be visiting Russia for the first time, but is aware of the hard work needed to get up to speed quickly.
"I have never been to Russia before and it is always exciting to visit new countries," the BMW rider said. "It is a good addition to the championship; as a World Championship it is great to go to as many countries as possible. It is also exciting to race on a new circuit. We first have to learn the track, but we have a test there in the week leading up to the race, so I am looking forward to Russia.
"When you go to a new track, your pace is not so fast at first and you initially have to concentrate on your riding and getting used to the circuit without changing too much. As you get faster you can concentrate on the bike's set-up. There are some circuits, which you get used to very quickly and the set-up of the bike is very similar to that used on the previous race weekend.
"However, some circuits are very unique and you need a totally different set-up and to ride the bike very differently. In Russia, we will know after the first few test sessions how much work we have to do.
"We obviously want to push to win every weekend, and at Silverstone I felt that we were back to where we want to be. We had a front row start and were challenging for the race win. It went in the right direction; it was just another weekend of bad luck for me. We will keep pushing on and then luck will hopefully be back on my side.