Bennetts British Superbike bosses have warned that ‘extreme’ leg dangling could risk breaking the series’ rules in certain circumstances.
An incident involving series leader Leon Haslam and rival Jake Dixon on the last lap of Sunday’s second race at Cadwell Park has caused much debate after Dixon claimed Haslam’s waving leg was the reason he ran on at the end of the Park Straight.
Dixon went for a pass on Haslam under braking on entry to Park corner, but would end up running on and losing out on second position to Bradley Ray. After the race the young gun criticised Haslam, suggesting the ‘dangerous’ dangle had caused him to let off the brakes and that’s why he couldn’t make the turn.
MCN can reveal that race direction did look into the incident following Dixon’s complaint, and while they believe Haslam’s dangle is on the threshold of being an ‘unfair’ move, they could find no conclusive evidence that the dangle was the cause of Dixon running on.
Series bosses have released data (found below) from the incident in an effort to explain how they reached this decision.
A statement alongside the data read:
“The attached shows the braking at the end of the Park straight on lap 18 of Bennetts BSB Race 2. Red lines are Dixon, black are Haslam.
“It seems that, although Dixon actually applies the brake earlier than Haslam, he brakes much less hard, so by the time he actually has similar brake pressure to Haslam, he is going too fast to make the corner.
“At no point does he let off the brake, which is what he seemed to be saying on Sunday.
“Analysis of TV footage seems to back this up. This data is aligned for the track bumps, and the TV footage also shows the same bumps.”
In response to the data, Dixon has told MCN that the reason he couldn’t brake harder any earlier was because he feared he would run into Haslam’s dangling leg.
While there was no penalty issued for Haslam given the inconclusive evidence, MCN understands race direction have spoken to the series leader about the way in which he dangles his leg and how it could risk breaking the rules in certain circumstances.
“The technique [leg dangle] in its extreme risks breaching regulation B2.12, that states during a competition, riders must not manoeuvre in a foul, unfair or dangerous manner,” explains race boss Stuart Higgs.
Regulation B2.12: Riders must not manoeuvre in a foul, unfair or dangerous manner
“This is a long-standing regulation and Leon has been spoken to before about how his particular dangle risks breaching that rule in certain circumstances.”
The first time Haslam was approached regarding his dangle was during his first year back in BSB in 2016 when, during a race at Oulton Park, Dan Linfoot had to take evasive action to avoid Haslam's leg as they fought for the win. On this occasion, no penalty was issued as there were no repercussions, but Haslam was warned that had there been he could have been punished under regulation B2.12.
An MCN Sport poll on Twitter, which saw 1500 votes in 24 hours, revealed public opinion to be split on the matter with 56% of people claiming Haslam’s dangle is dangerous while the other 46% saw no problem.
Race boss Higgs says he is planning to discuss extreme dangling with the Bennetts BSB grid prior to the next round at Silverstone in just under three weeks’ time.