Factory BMW World Superbike star Leon Haslam was flattered to be one of the favourites to replace Colin Edwards in this weekend's French MotoGP at Le Mans.

Edwards, out with a broken collarbone, revealed the Suter-BMW CRT ride would go to either Haslam or Chris Vermeulen by posting on his Twitter page (@texastornado5):

"So if u had a choice: Leon Haslam or Chris Vermeulen to ride my bike in Le Mans?" Edwards later added: "Tweet votes were close to 50/50... let's see what the Boss decides"

The ride subsequently went to former Le Mans MotoGP winner Vermeulen, currently out of contract.

Haslam - who has previously raced in 125, 250 and 500cc grand prix races - told Crash.net that his existing WSBK commitments had to take priority.

"It's very nice to be thought of at the top of Colin's list and to be appreciated in that way - to go and do a one-off ride," he said.

"But I'm a contracted rider with BMW. My main focus is here in World Superbikes.

"The CRT thing is something totally different and with us already having back-to-back races, it wasn't something that I wanted to distract from our BMW project.

"I've been good friends with Colin for a long time and knowing Colin he will be back again soon anyway," Haslam added.

Edwards, who was thought to be keen on Haslam riding the bike in order to compare the engine and electronics with his factory S1000RR, intends to return to action during the following Catalan round from June 1-3.

The Texan, who claimed a best finish of twelfth in the two events before his injury, welcomed Vermeulen to the team with the words: "Have fun & feel free to find a few seconds for us :)"

Haslam, 28, has taken three podiums this season and was on course for his first BMW win until a dramatic clash at the final turn in Sunday's second race at Donington Park.

The son of 'Rocket Ron' Haslam, Leon has won three WSBK races to date and finished title runner-up for Alstare Suzuki in 2010.

Vermeulen will ride his first MotoGP laps since 2009 in Friday practice for the French Grand Prix.


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