Leon Haslam is touting Karl Harris to challenge for race wins in this year's British Superbike Championship.
The multiple BSB race winner, who graduates to the World Superbike Championship with Stiggy Honda in 2009, believes Harris is in good shape to shrug off a difficult season at Yamaha by coming good on the Hydrex Honda.
This year's British series is expected to be one of the most competitive yet following a number of significant changes, particularly the loss of last year's four top riders, the absence of Ducati and the decision by reigning champions GSE Racing to switch to Yamaha machinery.
It means there is no clear favourite for this year's title, although for Haslam, his training partner Harris and his replacement at HM Plant Honda, Glen Richards, are the two riders he is keeping an eye on.
“Karl Harris is going to be a dark horse and I think he is going to be one for the championship,” he told Crash.net
. “He's got the talent, although he's had a couple of bad seasons. I know he has been working hard in the gym, while the Hydrex team are a good one, so I think he is going to be competitive.
"Glen Richards will be [competitive] too. He has stepped into my side of the garage and I know the guys and the structure… the support might not be what it has been in the British Championship for the last couple of years, but they do run a good team and Glen has proven himself in Supersport and Superstock to be a class act.
“GSE run a good package, so I expect it to be between Yamaha and Honda, but I think Karl Harris will be in the mix too."