Jake Dixon has congratulated Leon Haslam for his 2018 Bennetts British Superbike championship triumph after failing to stop his rival sealing the title in the opening race of the Brands Hatch finale.

Needing to overturn a 61-point deficit, Dixon had to outscore Haslam by at least 12 points in race one of the triple-header finale. The RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki rider came close with Haslam riding conservatively in sixth place but needed to win the race to keep his championship hopes alive.

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But Dixon couldn’t find a response to Glenn Irwin’s pace on the Be Wiser Ducati and narrowly missed out in second place to see the title go to Haslam with two races to spare.

“The Ducatis were really strong throughout the race and when I was sat behind Glenn I didn’t feel too bad but then Andrew came by and it ruffled me a little bit,” Dixon said. “I got my head back down as they had a bit of a gap to me and then Andrew started to drop off the back so it took me a while to get past Andrew and when I tried to get past I dug in to catch up with Glenn.

“I took a big chunk out at one time but the last two laps I wasn’t taking too much and I had a few moments. I gave it everything out there and didn’t leave anything out. I can’t tell you how many times I almost crashed in that race trying to beat Glenn and take the win.”

Despite his frustrations at missing out on the title, Dixon paid credit to Haslam’s feat this year and he will look to defend his second place in the BSB standings’ in just his second full campaign in the Superbike class.

“A massive congratulations to Leon to win the championship, he’s definitely done a fantastic job this year,” he said. “He has been a massive force to be reckoned with and taking the championship. He’s had 14 wins, more than anybody here so he’s had a fantastic year.”

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