Mechanical failure ends opening British Superbike race early for Marham-based Lee Hardy Racing squad
It was a disappointing day for the Marham-based Lee Hardy Racing team as an early retirement ended their challenge in the British Superbike Championship season opener.
Winter signing Leon Haslam was forced out on the fifth lap of the opening race at Silverstone this afternoon, after a strong showing in qualifying earlier.
The team, racing as Visiontrack Kawasaki this year, came to the Northamptonshire track in good heart, having performed well in final testing last week.
And the initial signs were encouraging as Haslam, returning to the series four years after lifting the title, started fifth on the grid for the opening race.
The top 12 riders all went faster than the old lap record in qualifying at lunchtime.
But the 38-year-old slipped to 10th in the early stages of the 24-lap outing on the National Circuit configuration.
And the former champion retired on lap five as smoke billowed from the back of the machine.
Haslam is set to start of the fourth row of the grid for the first of the two championship races scheduled to take place tomorrow.