Leon Haslam says he was forced to opt for a consecutive result in the opening race of the MCE British Superbike decider at Brands Hatch with fourth place having lost a step in performance from his JG Speedfit Kawasaki against his title rivals.

The BSB championship leader saw his advantage slashed to 21 points by Shane Byrne due to the Be Wiser Ducati rider's victory in race one at the Kent circuit coupled with Haslam’s fourth place having fended off James Ellison in the closing stages.

Having reviewed his team’s race data, Haslam says he was losing “tenths of a second” in sector one every lap which ultimately restrained his charge to the podium trio.

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As a result, Haslam is hunting set-up changes to find lap time gains because if Byrne repeats his victory in Sunday’s deciding two races and he misses the rostrum in both the title will be stolen by the Be Wiser Ducati rider.

“We are losing time in two major places but the rest of the lap we are as quick as anyone so we need to resolve those issues,” Haslam said. “I was losing so much in those two places and kept making a few mistakes so we played the race so we could beat James at the end but it was hard work.

“If we can improve on those two corners we can take the race to Shakey. But there should be a lot of things that will be better for us tomorrow and the boys have got a good plan so we should be okay.”

Assessing his strategy for tomorrow, Haslam says he doesn’t plan to race conservatively knowing podiums will be vital to keep the BSB title fight in his hands and not rely on other results.

“I’ve got to go out there and run my race. I need a good start, get up amongst them and beat them up a bit like a normally do to get the best possible result we can. It is difficult because I am an aggressive rider and I want to attack but everything is telling me not to crash.

“But with the issues I was playing it safe to get the result. It might come down to tomorrow when I can’t do that.”