BSB: Haslam keen to get title fight back on track

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Leon Haslam will be looking to get his 2017 MCE British Superbike title on challenge as the series heads to Cadwell Park this weekend.

Having held the lap record continuously since 2006 and finally breaking it last year, Haslam will be hoping to make a return to the top step for the first time since Oulton Park after a troubling mid-season for his championship attack. 

After hitting the back of James Ellison’s stricken Yamaha at Oulton, Haslam’s season spiralled downhill with a crash in free practice at Knockhill ruling him out of contention for the Scottish round. He’d then be hampered by injury and a speed deficit with the Kawasaki ZX-10RR at Snetterton before further struggling at Brands Hatch. 

A glimmer of hope was seen at Thruxton, which Haslam had down as his worst circuit on the calendar, as he bagged a third place in the second race but having won three out of the opening five races, the former WSB star is determined to close the podium credits gap to rival Shane Byrne.

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“I really thought Shakey was going to do the double at Thruxton, so walk away with one more podium credit than him was a bonus for us,” Haslam said.

“While I’m happy to be on the podium at Thruxton, we can’t be happy with seventh and third so I’m hoping to put that right at Cadwell Park this weekend.

“It’s been a really strong circuit for me in the past, I’ve held the lap record for more than ten years and won on every bike I’ve ridden here so there’s no reason we shouldn’t be at the sharp end. 

“Everything we’ve done recently has been to ensure we have the bike in best shape as possible for the Showdown, as that’s what it is all about in BSB, if we can win in those three rounds at the end of the year then we can be champion. 

“We tested at Cadwell a couple of weeks ago and managed to do competitive lap times despite testing quite a few things, so with my record at the track if we can’t make it work there then there’s a problem!” 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing