Brands Hatch Indy: Haslam charges into championship lead

Leon Haslam says battling back from his free practice three fall to claim a win, a third and the championship lead at Brands Hatch Indy is a welcomed result.
Leon Haslam says battling back from his free practice three fall to claim a win, a third and the MCE British Superbike championship lead at Brands Hatch Indy is a welcomed result.

The JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider produced an incredible last lap in race one to jump from third to first on the Indy configuration of the Brands Hatch track and followed it up with a solid third place in race two which gives him a three-point lead in the BSB standings' over Shane Byrne plus one more podium credit point than the Be Wiser Ducati rider.

Haslam felt he was always playing catch-up at the Kent track after his FP3 fall as he struggled with the feeling on the new Kawasaki ZX-10R around the 1.2-mile circuit but his work on tyre life paid dividends for his second win of the season.

However, in race two Haslam says he lost tyre life with 12 laps to go which denied him the chance to charge for a repeat success and instead lost a place to eventual winner Byrne.

“All weekend long we had been working on long runs and tyre life at the end of the race and in race two I had zero grip with 12 laps to go and I was hanging on with Cooper,” Haslam said. “It was a bit of a yo-yo effect as I could beat him on entry and braking but when I had to put the power down on the right-hand side of the tyre we dropped off of him.

“It was strange because that was my strong point in race one. We need to evaluate that, perhaps the cooler conditions played into that, but on top of that Shakey did have the pace at the end so it was difficult to take those two and they gapped me on the last couple of laps. At the same time I anticipated it with 12 laps to go so to hold on for a podium I'm happy with that.”

Haslam says the BSB championship lead has come as a small surprise after a retirement in the season opener at Silverstone and having to adapt quickly to the new Kawasaki in the slippery conditions at Oulton Park.

“I expected to win at Silverstone but we had the technical issue, Oulton Park I was unsure with the weather and it was the first time I'd rode the bike in the wet but came away with two podiums, a win and a third, so really happy with that,” he said.

“Here after my crash on Saturday [in FP3] I was on the back foot struggling with my style on the bike and the track here and I've come away with another win and a third so I'm happy but I feel there are little bits we could improve upon to make it easier in the future.

“To come away with the most points over the weekend and have another win plus the championship lead I can't really be unhappy.”

Tagged as: Haslam , Shane Byrne

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, [Credit:]
Tommy Bridewell, Team WD-40 Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Sylvain Guintoli, Bennetts Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
John Hopkins, Jason O`Halloran, BSB [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Glenn Irwin, Be Wiser Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
British Superbikes, class of 2017 photo, riders [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Christian Iddon, Tyco BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Richard Cooper, Bennetts Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Peter Hickman, Smiths BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Michael Laverty, McAMS Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]

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May 23, 2016 6:33 AM

Good weekend for the lad . Much better weekend for Tommy Bridewell !!. looks like Bennetts Suzuki might be getting it together finally . Kiyonari pretty much what i expected , regardless of his injuries . He's a spent force .

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