Leon Haslam says continuing his strong form at Oulton Park with a double victory to take the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike championship lead leaves him in the best possible position to ramp up his title charge.
The JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider secured his second and third race wins of the year with a double at the Cheshire track, extending his current victory run at the circuit to eight wins in the past 11 BSB races, which sees him take the riders’ championship lead from Bradley Ray going into the mid-season break.
Having been under pressure throughout a tense race two from Honda’s Jason O’Halloran in the fight for victory, Haslam is relishing his start to the 2018 campaign having cruelly missed out on last year’s title having led into the final round.
“It has been a great weekend for myself and the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team and it was fantastic to do it in front of so many fans at Oulton Park. We have been pushing hard all weekend so to win race one was great,” Haslam said.
“Then in race two I thought I’d timed it perfectly, I sat behind Jason and he had really good pace. My pit board kept going up and up and up so I knew it was just me and him. I thought ‘this is perfect’, made my move, upped the pace by half a second but he never went away.
“It’s really hard, you never know how hard to push, and I thought if keep this rhythm then hopefully I’ll break him and I never did but I managed to make it stick anyway. I was happy when I crossed the line and it feels good to lead the standings.”
While Haslam secured the overall riders’ championship lead, holding a 14-point advantage over Ray, the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider has also taken an useful advantage in the Podium Points table with one eye on the Showdown. Haslam already has 18 Podium Points with Ray on 13 and defending BSB champion Shane Byrne on nine.