Brookes and Red­ding form the BSB dream team in 2019

Haslam set to win first British ti­tle at Brands Hatch this week­end

MCN - - CONTENTS -

Bar­ring disas­ter, Leon Haslam will get his hands on his first ever Ben­netts British Su­per­bike cham­pi­onship tro­phy at this week­end’s fi­nal round at Brands Hatch.

The JG Speed­fit Kawasaki rider car­ries a whop­ping 61-point lead over ti­tle ri­val Jake Dixon af­ter a dou­ble vic­tory last time out in Assen, while Dixon broke down in the sec­ond race. To put the lead into per­spec­tive, had Haslam gone into the 2017 fi­nal round, which he lost af­ter a num­ber of is­sues, with the same ad­van­tage, he would have been British Cham­pion by 22 points de­spite his huge crash. And while noth­ing is clear cut in rac­ing, Haslam needs to fin­ish a min­i­mum of 11th in the week­end’s three races should Jake Dixon, who has never won on the Brands Grand Prix cir­cuit, win them all. While rid­ing for solid points may be all it takes, Haslam has other ideas. “Brands GP is the only cir­cuit I haven’t won at with Kawasaki in the last three sea­sons,” he said. “I have won there be­fore, back when I was with Du­cati in 2007, but since I came back to BSB in 2016 I have won at ev­ery cir­cuit apart from this one, so there’s a right to be wronged be­fore I go to World Su­per­bikes next year! “As well as that, the only way to win a cham­pi­onship is by cross­ing the line first. Seal­ing off a year like this with a win is the best way to se­cure a cham­pi­onship ti­tle, just like Jonathan Rea did in Magny Cours.” How­ever, the 35-year-old ad­mits it won’t be easy to win at Brands and while he knows Jake Dixon will be do­ing all he can, he’s ex­pect­ing a stronger chal­lenge from else­where. “Brookes beat us in both races at Brands ear­lier in the year so he’ll be strong on the Yamaha, but Macken­zie will be too. He’s been knock­ing on the door of a win for a few rounds now and I wouldn’t be sur­prised if he got one at Brands. Glenn and the Du­cati are also re­ally strong.” Ahead of the Assen races, Haslam was vis­i­bly ner­vous and re­served as he fo­cused on the ti­tle fight. While the 61-point lead ap­pears to have re­laxed him slightly, he’s re­fus­ing to get car­ried away.

“The past few weeks have been eas­ier know­ing I’m go­ing into Brands with a 61-point lead. Even with what hap­pened last year I’d have won the ti­tle if I’d had that lead, so that shows even if ev­ery­thing doesn’t run smoothly we are in a strong po­si­tion. “That be­ing said, it isn’t over un­til it’s over. Any­thing can hap­pen in rac­ing and it won’t be over un­til my hands are on the tro­phy and we’re hope­fully go­ing to World Su­per­bikes as

British cham­pi­ons.”

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