This weekend marks the final round of the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike championship with Jake Dixon hoping to claw back Leon Haslam in the title race.
Leon Haslam heads into the final Bennetts British Superbike Championship leading Jake Dixon by 61 points as the pair prepares to battle around Brands Hatch for one last time, as the pair will both leave the championship at the end of 2018.
Brands Hatch hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Dixon in the recent years after finishing 11th and 10th in the first visit to Brands Hatch GP in 2017 whilst not starting and crashing out of the two of the 3 races at the end of the season, with a sole 12th place to end his 2017 campaign off.
Leon Haslam, on the other hand, has never had any luck when the paddock heads into the final round, with a handlebar coming off during Saturdays Qualifying in 2016, a crash in the first race along with a 5th and 4th cost Haslam the title. Things didn’t improve in 2017 with a 4th place finish in the first race, 10th in the second, all whilst his championship rival Shane Bryne stood on the top step in the opening 2 races. Things only got worse for the Derbyshireman when his brakes failed on entry to Hawthorn bend leaving Haslam no option but to jump off his Kawasaki heading feet first into the barrier at around 120mph.
Sadly that accident cost Leon Haslam second in the championship to Josh Brookes, but that won’t be the case in 2018 as 3rd place man in the standings cannot mathematically win the 2018 championship.
We have visited the Brands Hatch GP Circuit already this season with Leon Haslam standing on the podium in both races, whilst Dixon could only manage 4th.
Whilst we have the fight for the title, we still have a fight for 3rd as 2x Brands winner in 2018, Josh Brookes only sits 23 points clear of 6th place man Bradley Ray with Irwin and Hickman between them, but with the performance Josh Brookes put in earlier this season on board the 20 year anniversary R1, can ‘Brookesy’ intervene in the championship battle?
With the focus on the top 6, we still have the rider’s cup to be decided. Heading into the final round Honda’s Jason O’Halloran sits just 5 points ahead of Tarran Mackenzie who we know goes very well around the Kent circuit. Christian Iddon is also within a chance of taking back to back riders cup wins after beating James Ellison by 10 points in 2017, Iddon is only 9 points behind the Aussie. It doesn’t stop there as Danny Buchan and a rapidly improving Tommy Bridewell are both within a chance of stealing it, with Bridewell being just 14 points back with 75 points up for grabs.
Mathematically riders all the way down to 16th place can still take that 6th spot, all be it a very tough challenge.
Not only do we have to crown a Bennetts British Superbike Champion, but we also have champions to decide in both Junior and British Supersport and Superstock 1000 along with a few R&G rookie awards.
In Supersport the fight is on between Jack Kennedy and Ben Currie, Kennedy heads into Brands Hatch with a 41 point lead over Gearlink Kawasaki’s Ben Currie.
British Superstock return to action after missing the Dutch round of the Superbike season and much like Supersport, it’s another Irish v Aussie battle with Keith Farmer leading Suzuki’s Billy McConnell by just 10.5 points, with just one 14 lap race to decide the outcome of what has been a great season between the BMW and the Suzuki.
Finally, we will have the first ever British Junior Superport 300 champion crowned as the fight between Eunan McGlinchey and Brian Hart comes to a close. With 7 wins to Eunan’s name compared to Brian Harts 5, McGlinchey heads into the final round with a comfy 43 point advantage over Hart. With the pair having many battles over the course of 2018, Thruxton being the closest with just 0.06s between them, who will become Dickies Junior Supersport Champion when the flag falls?
Make sure you do not miss any of the action with weekend reports here at Now Moto.
Featured Image Credit: British Superbikes