Bennetts British Superbike Championship leader Leon Haslam has pin-pointed Josh Brookes as his biggest threat for the 2018 crown ahead of Cadwell Park this weekend.
The JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider leads the series by 82 points over RAF Regular and Reserves Kawasaki man Jake Dixon, but Haslam reckons 2015 champion Josh Brookes is the man to watch.
With the entire top six elevated to 500 points and separated only by podium points accrued over the first nine rounds, Haslam’s 82-point lead means little at this stage. It’s his 23 podium points over Dixon that count during the three-round title fight.
However, with Dixon also on a Kawasaki, Haslam says he fears Brookes more as the Yamaha may have certain strengths over the Kawasaki at some of the tracks towards the end of the year – most notably Brands Hatch, which holds the final three races of the season.
“The more we extend our points lead the better but with the way BSB works it is never over until it is over,” he explained. “At the minute I’ve got an 82-point championship lead but it means absolutely nothing, come Oulton that will go down to whatever my podium credit gap is and at the minute that could be lost through one DNF in the Showdown.
“I’ve said from day one I think Josh is my main rival for the title. Jake is consistent but he’s still only won at Knockhill and he’s on the same bike as me which is a good thing for me as I know I can get the better of him on the same bike. Josh’s bike on the other hand has strengths that will suit certain tracks more than our bike will, but as long as we can continue doing what we’ve been doing at our weaker tracks we will be good. I’m fairly sure the battle will be between us two.”