Leon Haslam expects JG Speedfit Kawasaki team-mate James Ellison and Be Wiser Ducati's Shane Byrne to be tricky rivals on his first competitive return to Brands Hatch since 2008.

Haslam's final MCE British Superbike championship race before moving to World Superbike came around the Brands Hatch Indy track when he finished second to Byrne eight years ago.

After such a long period away Haslam is anticipating a difficult challenge but having won race one at Oulton Park last time out he has momentum coming into round three but has singled out Byrne and Ellison as his biggest threats.

"I've not ridden at Brands Hatch in years and the Indy circuit is going to be very different to what I'm used to," Haslam said. "It's going to be a tough weekend, obviously Shakey has a special relationship with Brands Hatch but James is equally as impressive round here - as we saw last year [Ellison claimed pole and won both races].

"We're yet to get a fully dry round, so fingers crossed this weekend we do as we'll then be able to focus solely on race set up rather than having to adapt to changing conditions every session.

"The atmosphere is always amazing, so I'm excited to be racing back at Brands. I've never won on the Indy circuit before but the team has won at both rounds so far and although we're still developing it, the ZX-10R is a strong package so hopefully I can change that."

Thanks to his win and third place at Oulton Park Haslam has jumped to fourth in the BSB riders' championship as he looks to add to his six podium credits already collected with one eye on the Showdown.



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