JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam still leads the MCE British Superbike championship after finishing fourth in race one at Brands Hatch, but his advantage at the top of the standings has been reduced to 21 points.
His title rival, Be Wiser Ducati’s Shane Byrne won the opening race and took maximum points at his home track. But Haslam admitted that he had a few issues and lost a few tenths of a second in sector one. The Smalley rider did not want to risk crashing and 'played it safe’ to make sure that he crossed the finishing line ahead of James Ellison and Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran.
Haslam raced on the softer rear Pirelli tyre, which was a change to his usual harder rear, and the track temperatures cooled somewhat which did not suit the softer compound. The former World Superbike star did crash in Q3 earlier today but was unhurt, as was his bike. But Haslam is feeling good and has a ‘good plan’ going into the double header on Sunday.
“I was losing so much in two places and I kept making a few mistakes and I didn’t want to risk crashing and we played the race so we could beat James at the end but it was hard work. The temperatures and everything I think will be better for us tomorrow and the boys have got a good plan and we are feeling good,” said Haslam, speaking at the circuit.
“I need to get a good start and beat them up a bit like I always do and get the best result I can. I was playing it safe as we had a few issues and it might come down to tomorrow where I might not have chance to do that.
“We have got a few changes we know that we are going to make and the cool temperatures and the restart didn’t help and I think a lot of little things I think will be better tomorrow. I am losing sixth tenths in sector one so the rest of that lap is not too bad. I feel good and crashing just before was not ideal.”