Alstare forced to release Haslam from contract

The Briton won three races for Suzuki in 2010 and launched a title challenge, but he is now expected to defect to BMW.
Team Alstare has confirmed that Leon Haslam will not continue with the outfit into next year after failing to receive assurances over Suzuki's factory involvement for 2011.

Haslam joined the manufacturer after a successful return season with Stiggy Honda in 2009, but while the Briton emerged as an immediate title contender, Suzuki's apparent reluctance not to push development would see them lose ground to eventual champions Max Biaggi and Aprilia.

With both rider and team expressing their frustration at the comparative lack of resources being handed down by the factory, Alstare team manager Francis Batta duly travelled to Japan to discuss their future involvement.

With Batta telling press at Imola that a decision was due soon, Suzuki's subsequent failure to communicate has enabled Haslam to exercise a clause, in what was a two-year contract, to leave should the factory's involvement be brought into question.

A disappointing outcome for Suzuki, who have enjoyed their most successful World Superbike season since winning the title in 2005 with Troy Corser, a revealing statement from the team itself thanked Haslam for his efforts and blasted Suzuki for its apparent lack of commitment.

“Team Alstare hereby informs the international press and media that Leon Haslam has been released from the two-year contract with Team Alstare.

“For the past six weeks Team Alstare has been waiting for an answer from its principal partner regarding the 
situation for the future of the Team.

“Last week, after Francis Batta's visit to Japan, we were assured that an answer would be given to the Team before the race in Imola (September 23rd). Team Alstare received no news.

“Such a lack of interest and an unclear situation from our main partner forces Team Alstare to let Leon decide his own future.

Tagged as: BMW , Haslam , Alstare Suzuki

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September 27, 2010 11:48 AM

Next time i see Batta at the track i am going to make a beeline for him and shake his hand. What a honourable bunch they are at Alstare. Sorry for the team and it's a shame for Leon as i think with the right support throughout the season would have given him and Suzuki the title....on the 25th Anniversary of the GSX-R. Shame on you Suzuki, you lose Spies to Yamaha and i still can't work out why you'd do that. You continue to put a below par GP bike out and don't supply any sattelite teams which might help you develop quicker or make the package better. And to top it off you don't support the one rider giving you a chance at a title. And to top off the top off(?sorry) you won't give one of your most loyal teams the assurances it needs to keep the rider that coulda/shoulda/woulda served you proudly in 2011 Shame on you!

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