The British Superbike champions returned from its summer break to the sunny Norfolk circuit of Snetterton, a track neither JG Bournemouth Kawasaki rider had won at previously but that was all going to change this weekend!
JG Speedfit Kawasaki celebrates a successful weekend at the British Superbike Championship at Snetterton after Leon Haslam secured a fantastic double win to extended his championship lead.
Both JG Speedfit Kawasaki riders, Leon Haslam and Luke Mossey had strong starts to their weekends as they recorded the second and third fastest times across the three free practice sessions, however, couldn’t carry that form into qualifying and Leon lined up in fifth place for Sunday’s opening 16-lap race 1 with Luke Mossey two places further back in seventh.
It was Leon who made the better start to slot into fifth as Luke dropped back to 12th after being caught up in a second corner crash and while the latter’s race sadly ended on lap eight after a heavy crash, caused by a brake issue, Leon went from strength to strength and steadily moved through the field. Leon grabbed the lead, on lap 14, to take the victory, his first ever BSB win at Snetterton. Unfortunately, Luke suffered from suspected broken ribs in the spill which meant he was unable to start race 2, later the same day.
Launching off the line as similar fashion to Race 1, Race 2 roared into life and Leon was upto Sixth at the end of lap one, the Derbyshire rider then proceeded to pick his way through the pack although it wasn’t until lap 11 when he grabbed the lead for the first time. It looked like it would be a two-horse race between Leon and Josh Brookes but in the closing stages, Jake Dixon closed in on the duo to set up a 3 way fight for the win in a thrilling last lap, last corner finale.
Brookes got by on a number of occasions only for Leon to retaliate immediately and as they came out of the final bend on the last lap, the Australian nosed ahead once more. Leon moved to the outside and the two riders touched but as they sprinted to the line, it was win number five for the 35-year old with just 0.129 seconds separating the three riders.
The results mean that Leon now leads the championship on 165 points, some 64 clear of second-placed Bradley Ray who failed to finish either race.
Leon Haslam said: “This is a great result and probably more than people realise from the outside. I’ve never won at Snetterton and we knew that was a challenge on its own, but also my bike doesn’t suit this circuit.” he continued “We’ve made some big changes with the set-up on the bike to try and help it (tyre wear and performance) and it’s really positive and the results show that. I must say a big thank you to all the team for all their efforts and hard work.”
Luke Mossey said: “I’m so disappointed at the moment. We had been showing some good form all weekend and working hard to be consistently near the top of the timesheets. I felt good on the bike and I was really looking forward to the races.
“I got pushed out wide avoiding the Andrew Irwin crash and had to drop back several places but I was making good progress and I felt like I could push for a top five. However, I suffered from a brake problem and was forced to jump off the bike.
“I’m just so disheartened as we need our luck to change. I’ve possibly fractured a couple of ribs, so I will re-group and get myself fit for Knockhill and hopefully come back with some good results there.”
Team Manager Jack Valentine added: “It’s been an amazing weekend for Leon, we’ve had five wins on the trot now and we can’t complain. The biggest disappointment was Luke’s side as Luke was coming back to where he should be until we had the brake issue today. We hope he heals soon and can come back strong at Knockhill.
The season continues at Knockhill 6-8th July