BSB: Haslam: 'A weight has been lifted off my shoulders!'

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Leon Haslam has said he feels like a weight has been lifted off his shoulders after being crowned 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Champion with two races spare.

The JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider crossed the line sixth in this afternoon’s opening race and with rival Jake Dixon second, that was enough to clinch the title with an unassailable 51-point lead.

Haslam has won a whopping 14 races this season, 11 more than any of his rivals while he’s only finished off the podium four times in 24 races – proving he is undoubtedly a deserved champion.

“It’s like a big weight’s been lifted off my shoulders,” he said. “Honestly it was kind-of one of those races I knew I didn’t need to push on, I needed to stay out of trouble. I got really pushed out wide in turn two and then it was Cooper I think crashed out in front of me and I was just like ‘stay out of trouble, stay out of trouble’.

“I saw Jake wasn’t leading so I knew top seven was good enough and I was running in sixth with a big gap. I wanted to have a go at Hicky and Tarran to try and get on that podium but I just didn’t want to risk it. After the last few years, I just wanted to bring it home and tomorrow I can enjoy now. I can go out there and have a bit of fun. That last lap felt like an eternity, was a long old race! It’s been one of those years, it’s gone so well and I’m so grateful for everyone around me.”

Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

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