Ron Haslam has said he believes 2017 is his son, Leon’s, best chance of winning the title that has eluded him for so long as he heads into the final round of the MCE British Superbike championship 32 points ahead of his nearest rival.
Haslam doesn’t have to beat Josh Brookes and Shane Byrne at Brands Hatch next weekend, but one DNF could throw things wide open with three races across the weekend.
The 34-year-old has turned into somewhat of a perennial bridesmaid during his career, finishing second in BSB three times (2006, 2008, 2016) and once on the world stage in 2010. However, he looks to be in his strongest position yet to break that duck this year.
One man who knows Haslam better than anyone is his Dad, Ron – who is by his son’s side at each weekend acting as a spotter and advisor.
“My advice to Leon as we go to Brands at first will be to treat it as a normal meeting, so we work as normal in practice to find the best set-up possible for the races,” Ron told MCN. “I think Sunday’s two races are going to be where things change, the first race has to be about going for the best possible result in order to make it that bit easier to wrap it up on Sunday. A win in race one will make his position even safer, so surely that has to be the goal so we can then go on and win the title.
“This is probably the best chance Leon has had in his career for a title by a long way, but we’ve got the small matter of Brands Hatch to deal with first! It’s Shakey’s home ground but fortunately we’re going in with quite a decent lead over him and Brookes.
“Anything can happen, there are three races and 75 points and that’s a lot. We’ve been in similar positions before, maybe not with such a lead, and we know too well how things can go wrong. Maybe because that’s happened so much in the past we’re waiting for it to happen again, but we’re also hopeful of going all the way.”
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