Leon Haslam says a third place finish in what is likely to be one of his final World Superbike Championship appearances as a PATA Honda rider is a timely way to reward the team's faith in him after more than two years without a podium.

The British rider, a WSBK runner-up in 2010, produced a stand-out ride in the second race, defying the difficult conditions to catch and eventually pass Tom Sykes for third place having been propelled into the podium battle by team-mate Jonathan Rea's accident further up the road.

Marking his first rostrum result as a PATA Honda rider and is his first personally since Misano 2012 when he was with BMW, Haslam admits it has been a long time coming but is thrilled to be ending the season on a relative high.

"It's been a tough two seasons, with a leg break last year and a few other problems I've been having, so a big thanks to the team, to Pata and to Honda who've stood by me," he said. "I've managed to repay them with a podium so I'm over the moon.

"We had our share of issues over the weekend, first in Superpole and in the second part of race one when I lost all straight line grip. But the boys made some changes for race two and it was definitely a step forward, although I still suffered a bit in the same area.

"It was also quite difficult starting from the fourth row of the grid because I couldn't really see anything for the first few laps. By the time I got past a few guys the leaders had already gone. But I was really happy to beat Tom in the end - it was one thing getting to him but quite another getting by. I passed him the first time on the brakes but started wheel-spinning and lost all my drive. I felt that I had a lot better pace than him but he was being really defensive.

"I lost both wheels trying to go outside him at turn three and then tried again at the hairpin and ran wide. I was running out of laps though so to get by him and then open a gap made me quite happy. We can go to Doha in a month's time a little happier now."

Haslam, who has now scored in all but the 2014 season opening race in Phillip Island now, has ascended to seventh place in the overall standings.



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