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Haslam defies odds for top five finish

The injured Leon Haslam defies the odds to finish inside the top five ahead of BMW team-mate Marco Melandri at Phillip Island.

Having raised eyebrows by deciding to go ahead and compete in the 2012 World Superbike Championship opener at Phillip Island, the injured Leon Haslam saw his mighty efforts rewarded in race two with an impressive run to the top five.

The Briton underwent surgery on his fractured leg less than 24 hours before the start of the weekend, but while many were stunned when he went on to qualify a solid 12th despite minimal mileage in qualifying, Haslam's pace would only improve come race day.

Indeed, though problems with his BMW limited him to 12th place in race one, having run inside the top ten for several laps, a strong start in race two had Haslam battling towards the front of the field.

Defying the awkwardness of his injuries, Haslam proceeded to spar with BMW team-mate Marco Melandri, the pair swapping positions continuously before the Briton eventually prevailed in fifth place.

A mighty result for a rider that very nearly didn't even compete as a result of the injuries sustained during pre-season testing, Haslam praised the efforts of his team and the medical staff for helping him reach the start line.

"Overall I'm really happy," Haslam mused. "We had a problem in race one, which I couldn't ride around. Even though just scoring points was the objective, I knew I could have done better.

"The boys worked really hard between races. They changed engines, electronics and the balance of the bike, and straightaway we were able to fight for a top five position. It's a big credit to all the team and the medical staff who managed to get me out there in the first place!

"I also want to express my condolences to the family and friends of Oscar McIntyre, who died in that tragic crash yesterday.

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