Leon Haslam heads to Brands Hatch this weekend ready to fight for his first-ever MCE British Superbike Championship crown.
After eleven rounds and 23 races, the fight for the 2016 title battle comes down to this weekend’s final three races – with 17 points separating Shane Byrne and Haslam.
Haslam heads into the final weekend with plenty of momentum, having taken six victories in the last eight races.
Speaking ahead of Brands Hatch, Haslam said: “I actually can’t wait for this weekend! Although there was some difficult parts, we’ve put together a great season; we’ve scored more points than anyone in the traditional sense and have had the same amount of wins and podiums as Shakey so we’re in a good place.
“I’m approaching the weekend in the same way I have every round this year, we’ve won six of the last eight races and I’m aiming to keep that momentum going this weekend. We’re not overthinking it, we’ll take each race one at a time but our goal is to win each of them.”
The Brands Hatch circuit is often considered the home of Superbike racing in the UK and a huge crowd is expected this weekend.
Praising the circuit, Haslam added: “Brands Hatch is an awesome circuit and I’ve had some great races – even in the summer round with some problems we were still able to finish second.
“Obviously it’s seen as Shakey’s home round and he’s hard to beat round there, but that’s a bit more pressure for him, particularly with him leading the Championship too, so I think it’s going to be an exciting weekend and hopefully we can leave with the title!”
Team principle, Mark Smith-Halvorsen added: “For the first time we head into the final round in a position to fight for the British Superbike title. Brands is seen as Shakey’s circuit so in theory we’re coming in as the underdogs, but to be honest we are not phased at all, with nothing to lose – we will be the hunters, not the hunted.
“Leon has won more races in the second half of the season and Shakey has struggled to beat him lately. Our main goal this weekend is simple; to win all three races and put the pressure on him to finish behind us – as we’ve seen so many times, absolutely anything can happen in BSB!”
The triple-header gets underway on Saturday morning with the Datatag Extreme Qualifying session. The opening race of the weekend is scheduled to take place at 3:45pm on Saturday.
Races two and three will then follow on Sunday afternoon, at 1:15pm and 4pm respectively. The championship presentation will then close proceedings following the end of the second race.