JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam will be looking for another double podium when the team travels to Cadwell Park this weekend for round eight of the MCE BSB British Superbike Championship (18th to 20th August).
Leon dominated the round at Cadwell Park in 2016, coming second in race one and first in race two. The aptly nicknamed ‘Pocket Rocket’, who has held the race lap record at Cadwell since 2007, also set the fastest-ever two-wheeled lap of the Lincolnshire circuit with a time of 1’25.932. The 34-year-old is currently second in the table with 184 points to Shane Byrne’s 203 and said Cadwell Park is one of his favourite circuits.
“I’ve managed to hold the lap record there for over 10 years which is always nice,” explained Leon. “One of my personal records is that I’ve won there every year I’ve raced so I’d love to keep that roll going this weekend.
“I feel I’ve finally recovered from the injuries I sustained at Knockhill and we’ve got to look ahead now to the Showdown. We need to get back to winning ways and there’s no better place than to do it than at Cadwell; the atmosphere is always fantastic and hopefully the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team can have a good weekend and come out on top.”
Meanwhile, teammate Luke Mossey is hoping to be back in action following a heavy crash during free practice at Thruxton last weekend. The 24-year-old has been working hard on his recovery and will be undergoing a medical assessment later this week to decide whether he is fit to race. Following a terrific start to the season, Luke’s progress has been slowed by a couple of spills and technical issues with the brakes on his Ninja ZX-10R and he has slipped from first to fourth place in the championship standings.
However, the team has managed to resolve the issues and Luke said he’s looking forward to a return to winning ways: “I’m feeling a lot better and I’m getting stronger every day. I’ve had seven sessions in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber and spent long periods of time in it, but it’s definitely helping so it’s all worth while. I’m seeing a specialist this week and they’ll assess my back and see how it’s recovering.
“I’m looking forward to spending some time with my family and progressing with my recovery. I feel confident in myself and when I’m declared fit I’ll be ready to get back on the bike and race.”
Reigning British sidecar champions Ricky and Ryan will also be hoping to come out on top in the Hyundai Heavy Industries British Sidecar Championship, which makes its first appearance at the famous circuit in six years. Known as ‘mini-Nürburgring’ due to its twisting and undulating nature, the Lincolnshire circuit comes with plenty of challenges not least ‘The Mountain’ which is a steep climb that riders can’t see over.
As well as looking to conquer the unfamiliar circuit the pair will be looking to close the gap on Kent brothers Tim and Tristan Reeves who are currently 137 points in front at the top of the table.
Ryan said: “It’s a very different track to Thruxton, which is where we were at the previous round. Where Thruxton is fast, Cadwell is very twisty so the challenges are completely different. It will be nice to finally race there.
“Thruxton proved to be very challenging for us. We had to race in the wet, which isn’t our strongest suit and witnessing a rather spectacular sidecar crash in the last race had quite an effect on us all. But it’s onwards and upwards as they say. Our attention is now fully on Cadwell Park and getting a win (or two) under our belt.”
All-female sidecar paring Maria Costello and Kirsty Hauxwell, who claimed their first ever double podium at Thruxton, will not be competing in the sidecar championship this weekend as Maria will be racing in the Classic TT on the Isle of Man (20th August to 2nd September).