Newly crowned Bennetts British Superbike Champion Leon Haslam has revealed his relief after finally lifting his first major title at Brands Hatch today.
It’s been no secret that the JG Speedfit Kawasaki man was determined to win the championship in the first of this weekend’s three races, and this afternoon he got his wish as he clinched the honours after a sixth place finish.
Haslam rode to a safe finish as his only challenger, Jake Dixon, finished second and it was enough to award him his first ever BSB title.
Speaking to Bikesport News this evening, the new champ was still struggling to come to terms with the win.
“Yeah, it’s a massive weight off my shoulders, I’ve not many words,” he said. “It wasn’t an easy race, not wanting to push on in case I made a mistake versus trying to be fast and keep up with everyone was hard work.
“I just want to thank everyone involved, the team at Kawasaki and everyone behind me, it’s been a long old road, a lot of years of battling and obviously to finally get a championship is an unbelievable feeling.”
Haslam, who heads back to the sunnier climes of World Superbikes next season, has had a long fight to the top, but says finally having a title to his name makes it all worth it.
“Obviously any championship is what we’re all aiming for. We’ve had a lot of good years in the World Championship, Suzuka 8 Hour wins and won a lot of races at world level but to actually get a championship is different.
“It’s a whole season of being the fastest rider rather than being the fastest at a single track so yeah it definitely means a lot.
“I’ve been really happy with what I’ve managed to achieve with the issues we’ve had and overcome. In 2016 I got the most points out of everyone but I made a mistake so that was my issue then in 2017 we had two mechanicals at the last round.
“I honestly I feel like I’ve been riding well, we’ve worked well with the team and a second year with same boys and the same team has been a massive part of it. It’s not about materials or parts, but just in the continuity of having data, and the boys knowing how to make the bike work…that’s proved itself in the race results, and here we are today. It’s all good, I’m very happy tonight.”