Brands Hatch seconds keep Leon Haslam in running for Superbike crown

DUELLING FOR THE TITLE -- superbike ace Leon Haslam.
DUELLING FOR THE TITLE -- superbike ace Leon Haslam.

Superbike ace Leon Haslam is still bang in contention for the MCE Insurance British Championship crown, despite playing second fiddle again to Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne at Brands Hatch over the weekend.

Haslam finished second to the championship leader Byrne in both races of Round Seven, but he still earned 40 points in what is looking increasingly like a two-man race for the title.

Byrne tops the table for his Be Wiser Ducati team with 231 points. But Haslam, of JG Speedfit Kawasaki, is only 25 behind and now fully 31 clear of third place. Round Eight is at Cadwell Park, Lincolnshire over the Bank Holiday weekend of August 27-29.

Haslam qualified in sixth place at Brands Hatch, but ended up only 0.518 seconds behind his arch rival after 20 intense laps in the opening race. He was beaten by 1.490 seconds in the second race.

“After a disappointing first practice session, I would have jumped at the chance of two podiums,” reflected Haslam. “It was a tough weekend and we were on the back foot a little, so credit to the team for turning it around.

“I expected a little more from the second race and thought we might get the win. But we just had a small problem which, luckily, cleared.

“The bike handled fantastic, and I think we took a big step forward. We can now head to Cadwell and fight for the win.”