Leon Haslam - Championship position: 2nd - Points: 209 - Podium credits: 26
After the first five races of the 2017 MCE British Superbike season, it looked like it was game over. Leon Haslam had taken three wins, one second and one third while bookies’ favourite Shane Byrne failed to finish three and had only one podium place.
The second race at Oulton was a turning point as Byrne won while Haslam ran into the back of Ellison when his R1 suddenly lost all power and the JG Speedfit Kawasaki man had nowhere to go but into his back wheel and then down. Hard.
Haslam didn’t compete at Knockhill after a big crash ruled him out with a cracked vertebrae, and since then he had only troubled the podium twice before a race-one win at Cadwell Park. Fortunately, for Haslam at last, Byrne has suffered two non-finishes in the last two rounds after an eight-race podium streak.
Last season, Haslam and the team struggled with aggressive power delivery which was somewhat calmed by the 2017 ZX-10RR but the Derby rider is using Silverstone to try further upgrades.
“I am feeling confident for Silverstone and so are the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team. We have some things we want to test before the Showdown and this is the perfect place to try a different engine specification before the final three rounds,” said Haslam.
“Silverstone can tend to suit the more top end bikes such as the BMW but we have a good plan and know that we need to have three consistently strong races, because at this stage of the season nobody can afford a DNF. I am sure this point of the season and the importance of it will spur some people on a bit more to make some moves, but I know what I need to do.
“It really is business as usual for me. I have missed four races this year through issues and injury so we need to collect as many Podium Points as we can this weekend and get back to that consistency we had at the start of the season.
“The win at Cadwell Park was awesome; that is always a tough round and it all went to plan in race one. The second one didn’t but I feel we are coming into this weekend in a strong position and I am ready to fight for the three wins.”