After two seasons and 54 races with the German manufacturer, Leon Haslam brought his time at BMW to a close with another frustrating race weekend at Magny-Cours.
Having already penned a deal to join PATA Honda in 2013, the British rider came into the French event looking to secure the race win that had eluded him throughout his tenure at BMW.
However, it was not to be, electronic issues stymieing his progress on the way to fifth place in race one before crashing out in race two on the same wet patch that caught out team-mate Marco Melandri just three laps earlier.
A disappointing conclusion to a season that tailed off in the closing stages, Haslam was only the 12th highest scorer during the latter half of the season, the 2010 runner-up notching up fewer points than BMW Italia riders Ayrton Badovini and Michel Fabrizio
in the final seven events.
“In race one I had a few issues with the grip and the electronics, and on top of that I made a few mistakes,” he said. “Finishing the race in fifth is a bit disappointing as I know a podium would have been possible. I had a good start in the second race, but struggled getting into first gear in a few corners.
“I also got a false neutral coming down the hill in the last stadium section. I had to release the brakes so as not to hit Eugene Laverty and ran off the track. I came back in eighth and tried to follow the group around Max Biaggi
when I hit a wet patch. This put me down again.
“I am a bit disappointed about finishing the season this way, and I am also disappointed for my crew and the team who did an outstanding job all season long. Thanks to all of them guys.
Haslam also took time to congratulate Max Biaggi
for 2012 title, even if he spared a few thoughts for Tom Sykes after he got so close to snatching it from the Italian.
“Max Biaggi again was Mister Consistent, congratulations for another World Championship. Anyhow, I feel a bit sorry for Tom who did some great racing this year. Losing the World Championship by only half a point is hard to take.”