Three races will decide the destiny of the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch this weekend (October 12/13/14) on the Grand Prix circuit as Leon Haslam bids to secure his first title victory against Jake Dixon.
2018 has seen five different race winners and a further nine riders have claimed podium finishes, but the attention now turns to Haslam and Dixon in the final battle for honours this weekend.
Haslam returns to the Kent circuit fired up as he bids to finally claim the British crown for the JG Speedfit Kawasaki; the ‘Pocket Rocket’ narrowly missed out last season in a crushing final round crash which ended in defeat, but this time around he arrives with a 61-point advantage ahead of the triple-header decider.
Haslam said: “I am looking forward to Brands Hatch and I honestly can’t wait now. I feel like we need to wrap it up and we are in a good position with the lead that we have, but I have a lot of objectives for the weekend.
“The main one is obviously to win this championship, but the other is that I have never won on a Kawasaki at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit. My first aim is to win the first or all three and then hopefully celebrate my first BSB title.”
His nearest rival Jake Dixon took a blow to his title aspirations last time out at Assen when he was forced to retire from the dramatic second race with a technical problem for his RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki. The Dover-born contender though will not be giving up without a fight at his home round of the season ahead of his move to the Moto2 World Championship in 2019.
Dixon said: “As a team we have had an unbelievable season but there are still three races to be won this weekend at Brands Hatch. That’s my focus going into the final round and I’m going to give it everything I have to end the season in the best way we possibly can.
“I am really looking forward to the weekend, Brands Hatch is my home round and we have three races to go, but I’m really determined as always to do the best job we can and I want to go out on a high before moving on to Moto2 next year.”
As the leading pair have the edge over the chasing pack, the battle for third in the standings will go down to the wire between 2015 champion Josh Brookes and Glenn Irwin. Brookes sealed the double win on the Grand Prix circuit back in July and holds a narrow three-point advantage over Irwin, who in turn has a five-point lead over Peter Hickman.
Local contender Bradley Ray will be aiming to end his season on a high this weekend and outside of the Showdown Six, Jason O’Halloran leads the charge for the Rider’s Cup trophy for Honda Racing with five points separating him from rookie Tarran Mackenzie. Christian Iddon, Danny Buchan and Tommy Bridewell are also in contention for the trophy with a maximum of 75 points up for the taking this weekend.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings:
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 654
- Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) 593
- Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha) 557
- Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) 554
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 549
- Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) 533
We would like to wish Jake the very best of luck and can imagine the pressure he must be feeling now. What a fantastic season he has had so far, with some real highs and lows. We couldn’t be more proud of the work and passion he and the whole team have put in to date.