Interview with Leon Haslam

I came back to the UK because I knew that if I had that operation I would have the bone strength straight away and I would just have to deal with swelling and ligament damage which is where I'm at now.

With any other operation I would have had to wait for the bone to heal which takes months and as a racer I haven't got that time.
And you are seriously thinking of Donington for your comeback?

Leon Haslam:
Yes, that's my aim and I've got three weeks ahead of me to achieve that in. But first things first, I need to get the swelling down and remove that staples and stitches so that I can see what other damage there might be regarding ligaments and tendons.

I might not be able to walk in a month's time, but structurally the bone will be OK and I just need to get the movement in the knee and the ankle to change gear. I reckon that I'll be in a better position at Donington than I was in Australia because I will be able to put some weight through the leg.
With all your difficulties, what keeps you motivated to race?

Leon Haslam:
Racing is my life, it's not just something I do at the weekends and when you have an injury like this, the only thing you think of is how to get back to it. Lying here I'm not doing what I want to do and I just want to get back there.
But where is the enjoyment?

Leon Haslam:
For me, it's the thrill of controlling the uncontrollable and the satisfaction of competition. The last three years have probably been the hardest of my career because of injuries and bike difficulties, but that thrill is still there.
It's your fifth consecutive season in WSBK, which began with Stiggy Honda (2009) and Alstare Suzuki (2010). Tell us about those teams and bikes...

Leon Haslam:
The Stiggy Honda was an undeveloped totally privateer machine and we got some great results on it including a podium at Assen. We also beat factory teams such as Haga on the Yamaha and importantly we also beat the Ten Kate Honda, that was like a dream at that time.

There were no expectations and we were overachieving everywhere. I felt as if I was making a great difference and to me that was very satisfactory. When you know that as a rider you've ridden a bike as well as it can be ridden, it's a great feeling.

When we went to [Alstare] Suzuki, it was a far more factory team, though in honesty, the expectation was again not so high. The bike hadn't won many races recently and our main aim was to finish in the top five. Testing showed that we could easily do that and when we got pole, fastest lap and a win at Phillip Island, it was again an absolute dream.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Haslam, Aragon WSBK 2013
Haslam, Aragon WSBK Race 1 2013
Jake Gagne, Red Bull Honda [Credit: Red Bull Honda]
Aprilia pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Aprilia pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Xavi Fores, Barni Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Eugene Laverty, Milwaukee Aprilia [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Alex Lowes, Pata Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Camier, MV Agusta Reparto Corse [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tom Sykes, Kawasaki Racing Team, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Michael van der Mark, Pata Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Alex Lowes, Pata Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Michael van der Mark, Pata Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tom Sykes, Kawasaki Racing Team, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Lorenzo Savadori, Milwaukee Aprilia [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Marco Melandri, Racing Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Marco Melandri, Racing Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Alex Lowes, Pata Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]

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Einar - Unregistered

May 09, 2013 1:53 PM

I love this interviews. Real questions and real unusually honest answers from the riders. In this day and age usually the interviews are so superficial because everything rotates around money and keeping the team and the sponsors happy. So you usually never get the honesty. Keep up the good work Crash, but please take the Crash TV link of autoplay. When I was riding this interview I had to push the stop botton everytime I got to a new pace.

RaceFan - Unregistered

May 09, 2013 9:07 AM

You have to admire how tough and dedicated he is to his racing. As James Whitham often says, these guys will be racing quicker than most people will walk, after a break. Where the bike is concerned, even with LH and JR on the Honda, it's simply not fast enough for them to win races and needs a faster motor. They have both won races before, so come on Honda, give them more bhp! It's not fun watching riders of this calibre making up lost ground on the brakes, just to stay in touch!

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