Q&A - Leon Haslam

Definitely. It was a real shame last year that there were no Brits in World Superbikes, particularly considering the calibre of the young British riders coming up now. James has done us proud out there, but with him moving on, either myself, or Shane, or Johnny should have been moving up into his shoes. Now though, it is looking like World Superbikes is stronger than it has ever been; Five Brits in Superbike and two in Supersport, it is looking like it will be one of the best seasons yet from a British point of view.
With yourself, Shane Byrne and Tom Sykes coming directly from the British Championship, how pleased are you to see the series getting recognition on the world stage?

Leon Haslam:
The way the climate is, it is tough in racing at the moment, so it is great that the British Championship has all the teams there still. It is a shame Ducati have left but we have a factory Yamaha there, as well as Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki… The British Championship is strong and I think it is the best domestic championship in the world, although it is really hard to progress from there. It has been a good few years racing at home, but I want to become world champion. If you run at the front in Britain, then you know you are going to be competitive elsewhere. It is a very tough championship and the likes of Lavilla and Kiyonari have already proven themselves at world level. It just shows how competitive the championship is.
Finally, looking ahead to the 2009 British Superbike Championship, what are your predictions for the coming season?

Leon Haslam:
Karl Harris is going to be a dark horse and I think he is going to be one for the championship. 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.

Related Pictures

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Haslam, Portuguese WSBK Test 2009

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gsxr-1000 - Unregistered

February 20, 2010 6:33 PM

leon really sounds up for a really good season.. hope so he is one of the riders a like to see do well he is a good racer and has his dad for helping him. go on leon you can do it just hope you dont hurt yourself early in the season and get good points goodluck


February 08, 2009 7:06 PM

Glad to hear Leon sounding so much more positive and cheerful about where he is. He's too professional to criticise HM Plant outright, but reading between the lines he wasn't all that happy there. I know he's got a lot of detractors who carp about 'Oh its all because his dad opens doors' but actually he is there on merit. Yeah, yeah riders could always have done better but look at his record, not least in WSB, and its pretty sound. If Stiggy's backers stay on board we ARE going to see him on the podium more than once this season.

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