HASLAM FIGHTS BACK

Kawasaki star fires a warn­ing shot to ri­vals at Oul­ton Park ahead of this week­end’s race

Motorcycle News (UK) - - SPORT - MCN BSB RE­PORTER oli.rushby@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

‘ To go to Oul­ton and lap un­der the record shows that Brands was a blip’ LEON HASLAM

Leon Haslam is con­fi­dent of re­turn­ing to the top step of the podium as the third round of the 2017 MCE British Su­per­bike Cham­pi­onship gets un­der­way at Oul­ton Park this bank hol­i­day week­end af­ter lap­ping un­der the lap record at last week’s official test.

Beaten by younger team-mate Luke Mossey in both races at Brands Hatch two weeks ago, Haslam is de­ter­mined to fight back at a cir­cuit at which he took a hat-trick of wins when the se­ries last vis­ited in Septem­ber.

“To be hon­est, Brands was a bit sh*t for us,” Haslam told MCN. “We just couldn’t get the right set-up dur­ing the week­end but be­cause I seemed quick and com­pet­i­tive we didn’t re­alise just how much grip we lacked over dis­tance com­pared to oth­ers.

“To go to Oul­ton and lap un­der­neath the record shows that Brands was just a blip, we put our base set­ting in from the end of last year and it worked straight away and felt like it did at Don­ing­ton. Brands is a tricky cir­cuit, unique for both set-up and style so con­sid­er­ing we had quite a few prob­lems in the races I was happy to take a sec­ond and a third, but this week­end we need to re­turn to the top!”

De­spite ti­tle ri­val Shane Byrne’s dis­as­trous start to the sea­son, which has only seen the Ducati man fin­ish one of the four races so far this year, Haslam re­mains con­vinced the reign­ing cham­pion is still his big­gest threat.

“I stand by Shakey be­ing our main ri­val,” he ex­plains. “To be fair, I think he should have won both races at Brands. He had a bad start in race one and then slipped off in race two, but you could see the po­ten­tial he had.

“There’s no doubt he’ll come strong and chal­lenge for wins soon, but I’ll con­cen­trate on my­self and try­ing to keep our head down.”

Leon will come out fight­ing this week­end

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