As expected, BMW has confirmed Leon Haslam will join Troy Corser in its World Superbike Championship team next season.
The announcement was anticipated following the revelation that Haslam would be exiting his contract with Suzuki Alstare in pursuit of one of the few factory seats still available on the 2011 grid.
That has now been identified as BMW, who moved quickly to snap up the Briton when it became evident that Suzuki could not guarantee a factory backing in 2011.
Haslam, who is guaranteed to finish runner-up in this year's WSBK standings after his determined push for the title was ended at Imola, is excited to be joining a project that has come on leaps and bounds in the last twelve months.
“I've watched the progress of the BMW S1000RR in the past two seasons and the almost constant improvement of the machine has been very impressive. I'm very much looking forward to riding the machine and experiencing for myself what I've been watching.
“The team has shown the potential to win and the team has the factory support required so I'm hopeful that I can add the extra little bit that is needed to win. I'm really grateful to BMW for showing such faith in me and patience during difficult times and we're looking forward together now for a successful 2011."
Pairing up with WSBK veteran Corser and taking the place of Ruben Xaus, Haslam will be a welcome member of the BMW team in 2011, says Berthold Hauser.
"We're extremely excited about working with Troy and Leon. This rider pairing brings together a wealth of expertise and youthful fighting spirit. We're very pleased to have not only a double world champion in our team for next year, but also the runner-up in the 2010 World Championship. It's just the right combination for our recently formed team at this stage of the project." And Hauser adds:
"We've been monitoring Leon for a long time now and have been more than impressed by his strengths as a rider. We're extremely happy to be able to welcome him into our team. We have a strong pair of riders in Troy and Leon and are in no doubt that we'll be able to achieve our ambitious aims with them on board.
“We would also like to thank Ruben Xaus, who over the last two years has helped to take the team to where it is today. We wish him all the best for the future."