Leon Haslam Set to Strike Back at Snetterton
The Derbyshire rider high-sided on the exit of the chicane at the Knockhill circuit on the Friday and had to sit out the rest of the meeting. This gave teammate Luke Mossey the opportunity to close the three-point gap between him and Haslam at the top of the table.
Mossey wasted no time, qualifying in pole position for Sunday’s opening race, and despite losing out on first place to fellow Kawasaki rider Jake Dixon, he gained enough podium credits to take over the Championship lead.
In race two the 24-year-old again put himself in contention, battling it out with Jake Dixon and James Ellison for first place. However, on lap 19, he had a major moment through the chicane and had to settle for fourth, although the day’s results saw him leave with a healthy 30-point advantage in the table.
With five rounds (including this one) to go before the crucial showdown gets under way, both Haslam and Mossey will for hoping for a top-rate performance, and with Snetterton being Luke’s home circuit, Haslam knows he will need to come back stronger than ever.
The meeting will also host the fourth round of the Hyundai Heavy Industries British Sidecar Championship with reigning champions Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood looking to make up lost ground.
In the first race at Knockhill, Ricky and Ryan got tangled up with other teams and the wheel arch on their fairing came off which led to their early retirement from the race. In the third race, they suffered suspension problems which slowed them down although they still managed to come fifth.
Maria Costello MBE and her passenger Kirsty Hauxwell will not be competing at this round.
Haslam said: “It’s well over a week since the Knockhill crash and I feel like I’m recovering well. I’ve struggled a bit with the concussion but I’ve had lots of hyperbaric oxygen therapy and physio and I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike.
“It seems like a long time since I did more than four or five laps on my BSB bike – seven weeks ago in fact – so I’m keen to get sorted physically and focus the championship itself. I was really disappointed to miss Knockhill so it will be nice to bounce back at Snetterton and see what we can do there.”
Mossey said: “Snetterton isn’t one of my favourite tracks, although I think we’ll go well there. It’s my local track so it’s a popular one for us. The bike is pretty good and we won’t be changing much so I think we’ll turn up and just get going again.
“We’re going in a good direction and when we last tested here, things were good. I’ll dig in and really get going again and as always the aim is to keep picking up points and trying to win.”
Stevens said: “The team has been working around the clock to get the sidecar back up to scratch and we have made tweaks to our suspension which we hope will resolve the grip issue we experienced at Knockhill.
“We’re nearly halfway through the season so we need to perform better if we want to stay in the championship. We’ve been training four to five times a week to ensure our fitness levels are at their best. Snetterton isn’t necessarily my favourite track but I’m quite excited to go there this weekend and give it my all.”
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MCE British Superbike Championship Positions (after four rounds)
1 Luke Mossey 141
2 Leon Haslam 111
3 Shane Byrne 90
4 Christian Iddon 86
5 Jason O’Halloran 83
6 Josh Brookes 78
Hyundai heavy Industries British Sidecar Championship Positions (after three rounds)
1 Reeves/Reeves 150pts
2 Kershaw/Clark 108
3 Stevens/Charlwood 87
4 Walker/Hawes 68
5 Holland/Ramsey 56
6 Bell/Belsey 54