Leon Haslam is all smiles after he extended his lead in the British Superbike Championship with a double win at Snetterton.
The Smalley rider is in pole position for this year’s crown after establishing a 64-point lead over his nearest challenger, following four rounds of the 2018 series.
Haslam finished third overall last year and has laid down a marker this time around with his first wins on the Snetterton circuit over the weekend for his JG Speedfit Kawasaki team.
Haslam said: “This is a great result and probably more than people realise from the outside. I’ve never won at Snetterton and we knew that was a challenge on its own, but also my bike doesn’t suit this circuit.
“Furthermore – and most importantly – making the SC0 tyre last in cool conditions, we even beat another Kawasaki using a hard tyre with Jake (Dixon).
“We used the same tyre as Josh (Brookes), normally the Yamaha is better on that tyre so this shows how much work the team has done to make it work for us.”
Haslam recorded a top three fastest time across the practice sessions but was unable to take this into qualifying, lining up fifth on the grid for Sunday’s opening 16-lap race.
He steadily moved through the field and just after half-race distance he was up to second and on lap 14, he grabbed the lead to take the victory - his first ever BSB win at Snetterton.
Sixth at the end of lap one in race two, the Derbyshire rider made steady progress through the field although it wasn’t until lap 11 when he grabbed the lead for the first time.
It looked like it would be a two-horse race between Haslam and Josh Brookes but in the closing stages, Jake Dixon closed in on the duo to set up a thrilling finale.
Brookes got by on a number of occasions only for Haslam to retaliate and as they came out of the final bend on the last lap, the Australian nosed ahead once more.
Haslam moved to the outside and the two riders touched but as they sprinted to the line, it was win number five for the 35-year old with just 0.129 seconds separating the three riders.
A delighted Haslam added: “We’ve made some big changes with the set-up on the bike to try and help it and it’s really positive and the results show that. We are looking forward to doing a test at Knockhill before we go there to race.
“I must say a big thank you to all the team for all their efforts and hard work.”
The championship continues at Knockhill from 6th-8th July 2018.