Leon Haslam is set to make a one-off return to the World Superbike grid after securing a wildcard appearance with Pedercini Kawasaki at the final round of the year in Qatar.
Having just missed out on the MCE British Superbike title last weekend at Brands Hatch, Haslam will return to World Superbikes at the Losail circuit before continuing on to Suzuka to contest the final round of the Japanese Superbike championship with the factory Kawasaki team.
Haslam is aiming to use the outing to gain a stronger understanding of the Kawasaki ZX-10R in World Superbike trim with full electronics and effectively the full factory machine minus an upgraded swingarm.
“I'm really excited for racing with Kawasaki in Qatar, I've known Lucio [Pedercini, team boss] for many years and I am very happy to return to Losail where I won last year,” Haslam said. “It's also interesting to try the full WSBK spec KAWASAKI as the BSB bike this year has been limited with the British Championship rules. Doha is always a fun track expecially racing in the night.”
Pedercini Kawasaki has reportedly been keen to get Haslam to join its ranks for the majority of the season but his commitments in BSB and at the Suzuka 8 Hours have caused clashes.
“To have for this race a rider like Haslam is for me a great pleasure and an honour,” Pedericini said. “I want to say thanks to Kawasaki Europe for making this possible. Leon is a great professional and is very fast. I am a friend of him and his father for a long time.
“He showed recently all his value in an extremely competitive championship like BSB, where he missed the title by a narrow margin. I'm confident for a good performance in Qatar with our bike. I want here once again to say thanks to Anthony West for the brilliant results obtained with us in this year.”
It was confirmed this week Haslam's BSB squad GBmoto Racing has withdrawn from all racing activities which has left the British rider seeking a race seat for 2017.