LEON HASLAM on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki is a worthy 2018 British Superbike Champion and was crowned with two races to go at Brands Hatch last weekend, such was his dominance. But was it all a little predictable?
The short answer is yes, it was predictable. But that in no way takes away from Leon’s achievement. In many ways, his whole career has been leading up to this season and it is well deserved. When Shakey Byrne crashed out of the season early on, it was clear that Leon was the man to beat. It was his to lose.
Perhaps the predictability of that result also allowed the new class of younger riders to finally show themselves. They had to duke it out to see who would be the one to take it to Haslam and several gems were found. All of a sudden they actually had a chance and were not the also rans.
Step forward Jake Dixon on the RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki. A good rider now turned even better and the BSB runner up is going places. Watch out for him in Moto2 next season.
Glenn Irwin in third place is now showing his mettle and won for the first time at the last round. He may have lost his seat with Be Wiser Ducati in 2019 but wherever he lands, he will be a contender. In theory he is the man to beat as the two in front of him are moving on.
Josh Brookes in fourth is a prior Champion and taking Glen’s seat in 2019. Good luck to him, he’s immensely likeable but we think with Scott Reading as his team mate and a new bike, it’ll be fourth again for Josh next season. Certainly, the prodigal racer Scott Reading may be a great rider, but in his first year in the series he is going to need time to bed in, so may not make the impact everyone expects.
Finally, in sixth is Buildbase Suzuki’s Bradley Ray who took the opening two races and then failed to reach that high again. It was his first year really competing at the front, he’s going to be a force in 2019 if he takes the lessons from this season on board.
So the year was predictable, but that is not a criticism, it is testament to a deserving rider winning and new talent coming to the fore. It makes next year all the more exciting to contemplate.
Ben Luxton on the G&S Kawasaki scored 7th place in his last race of the year in the Pirelli 600 National Superstock series. Wet/damp and drying conditions did not help him, but it’s another good top 10 for the Plantec Assist man and we look forward to seeing him race again in 2019.