MCE British Superbike Championship leader Leon Haslam is expecting a strong challenge from rival Shane Byrne and the Be Wiser Ducati team at Knockhill this weekend.
Byrne, who is 53 points down on Haslam after missing the opening round, has already tested at the Scottish circuit, albeit in the wet.
Haslam heads to Knockhill after a tough Snetterton test, where he was sidelined for most of the day after his ZX-10R’s engine blew while the rest of his team, and his spare engines, were on the Isle of Man.
However, after a strong performance at the Donington Park World Superbikes saw him return to the world championship podium, the JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s star’s confidence is sure to be high.
“I’m looking forward to this weekend; it has been a long time since the last race at Oulton Park with the break we have had and I have missed riding,” he said. “I did have the wildcard ride in the World Championship and it felt good to be on the podium there. I think going from one spec to the other, it is easier coming back to BSB than when you go the other way because the limits of the bike are easier to find here where it is more down to the rider than the electronics and trusting them.
“The Snetterton test was frustrating for us as I only had a handful of laps, but I know that the team will be ready for Knockhill and we will come out fighting. I really like Knockhill and have some good memories there – I got my first win in the 125 Championship there, won race one last year and was leading race two until I had a problem with my visor. I love the track and coming off the last race at Oulton Park when I didn’t finish because of a crash, I want to bounce back.
“I think going into this weekend the main threat will be Shakey and the Ducati. The standings don’t show because he was out of the Donington races and then had the pace at Brands Hatch and then won at Oulton Park and the next the next two tracks they have tested at already. I believe they will come back strongly this weekend so it is down to us to carry on working hard and concentrate on what we need to do so that we are winning races again.”
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