Former World Superbike Championship runner-up Leon Haslam feels WSBK must work towards publicising itself more effectively in an effort to attract more spectators through the gates on race weekends.

Audience attendance has been notably down in 2014, with the most recent event in Jerez attracting an official number of 25,000 spectators. By comparison, MotoGP at Jerez attracted approximately 250,000 spectators over the race weekend in May.

Indeed, PATA Honda rider Haslam insists the racing and quality of WSBK is as good as it has ever been, particularly from a British point of view, but says the awareness of even local fans appears to be frustratingly low.

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"The racing is fantastic," he told Crash.net. "From a British point of view there are so many [riders] out there. Tom Sykes is leading the world championship. I don't think you can do anything more from an internal point of view but publicising it is the biggest one. Getting interest in from the outside.

"There are the enthusiasts out there but a lot of the enthusiasts that I meet and speak too, they don't even know that the races are on. You go into the local village down the road and they ask, 'What are you doing here? Is there a race this weekend?'

"I think the publicising side can be looked at because the racing, [number of] manufacturers and the nationalities are phenomenal. I think the championship itself is really good."

Going forward, Haslam, who is yet to have a confirmed deal for 2015, feels the upcoming change in regulations to adopt more EVO-inspired single-class rules is a positive step forward for the championship, pointing out that it should be possible for privateer teams to start challenging for wins again.

"I think it's a good step. I think there are going to be several more steps over the next few years. I think the way that we're going is a good thing. They've just got to be really careful because the rule changes are going to suit one manufacturer more than another.

"Five or six years ago I could challenge for race wins on a standard privateer [Stiggy] Honda. Nowadays you can't do that. You need the money, the backing. I think that's where it's lost its way a little bit. The way that we're going - bringing it back to more basics where they are bikes that you can buy on the road, you tune them and go racing.

"For sure right now the Kawasaki is the bike to be on, it's winning everything. The rule changes and other manufacturers bringing news bikes out, I think it's going to be a lot closer."

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Well if this is right no one will be reading this so does it all matter? here goes anyway. I have run a motorcycle clothing and accessory store for over 7 years now (bear with me) and today's rider is a completely different animal to say someone who rode 10 years ago. It was about then that you had Foggy, Chili, Hodgy, Edwards, Haga etc fighting it out week in week out. Most customers bought Alpinestars, Dainese, and any other brand of clothing associated with Super-bikes as well as the latest Fireblade, R1 Mixer etc. This was the Fast Bike era. Anyone remember Shane Byrne, Rob Frost, Gary Mason etc. Yes you could ride a sports bike and feel proud to be associated with Super bikes as we all new them to be. NOT anymore I am afraid, I think a certain Marc Marques has arrived in the Nick of time for Moro GP otherwise ''racing'' in general would be on a major decline in every class.

Today's rider and racing fan is the same person they were in 2005 but the BIG thing is they have all gone

out and bought BMW GS, Harley Davidson or Triumph Bonneville or similar Mild upright type of bikes with no association with racing apart from the name so the Super-bike association has slowly but surely been eroding away never to be seen again, hence the need to be seen bombing around on the latest pocket rocket is no longer essential nor going along to race meetings with many like minded folk I am afraid.

This is the same all over Europe so as you can see World Super-bikes may even fail in the next few years as sales of sportsbikes decline year on year. From a British (or should I say English) point of view this does contradict the way it all should have been at the moment with Tom Sykes, Jonathan Rea, Leon, Haslam, and Alex Lowes, all trying 100% but alas its all gone over to Marc Marquez and the Moto Gp boys at the moment even though in my opinion over the last 3 years, the Racing has not been as good. (proper racing enthusiast know what I mean).
Oh well we are off to Magny Cours n