By his own admission, Leon Haslam's two years in the Pata Honda World Superbike team haven't gone to plan. Injuries, mechanical gremlins and troublesome electronics have meant the 31-year old has yet to stand on the podium in Pata colours.

Yet the past two years have brought silverware in the form of two Suzuka Eight Hours victories. Coming to end of 2014 Haslam - now the only British rider to win the event twice - still finds himself with options to stay on the world stage for the following year.

He sat down to speak to Crash.net about his year so far, his ideas on how to boost World Superbike audiences and how he feels, with the right equipment at his disposal, he can still fight for his first world championship.

Crash.net:
How did you spend your summer?Leon Haslam:
It was fantastic. [We came] straight back from Suzuka and the next morning I was at my dad's race school, teaching. I was out with [actor] Michael Fassbender on the track, which was a nice experience. That night I drove a transit van out to my place in Italy with a trials bike and spent four and a half weeks there. We've got some nice friends out there. [I did] a bit of training and a bit of cycling in the good weather.

Crash.net:
Was Michael Fassbender useful on two wheels?

Leon Haslam:
He was really good actually. We got him to get his knee down pretty much straight away. He was a real nice guy and it was good to see the enthusiasm [he had] for motorbikes.

Crash.net:
Are you the kind of rider that always likes to be on a bike when he has some time away from the racetrack?

Leon Haslam:
I definitely rode trials a minimum of three days a week. I brought my mountain bike over and we were cycling all the other days. My friend is big into wakeboarding so we did a lot of water sports. I was definitely very active and the last week of me being out there I felt like I needed a holiday. I was a bit knackered and battered but I was definitely ready to get back on the bike again because it was a long break.

Crash.net:
I guess the break gave you some time to reflect on the season so far. How has it been for you?

Leon Haslam:
To be honest 2014 has been terrible in my opinion. The last two years have not been what I expect from myself. We have had a lot of unlucky situations happen to us over the two years with the broken leg. Things have not gone to plan with development on our side. It's more of the way [it's happened] that's frustrating. Every time I feel that we're riding good something seems to happen. My confidence has definitely not been that high but I do feel confident in myself that I can do it. We have a few rounds to prove that before the end of the season and that's my main focus now.

It's just been one of them years where we've always been on the back foot, there's always been something that hasn't quite worked or gone right. We're trying to finish on a high.

We've been happy with the progress we've made with the bike in the last three or four rounds. We've just had a lot of little mechanical failures that have not made us pull in or stop but have really hindered the result. I've been happy with where the bike is and how it's doing in terms of set up but I've just not been able to capitalise on that because of the issues we've had not working.

Crash.net:
Is there one area that you've consistently struggled with more than most?

Leon Haslam:
We've not had any major blow-ups or anything like that. The guys are one of the hardest working teams I've ever ridden for. The new electronics are a massive factor. One wrong setting or sensor breakage or anything like that is a big factor in results. I feel like I've been plagued, not by results at all, but just unlucky situations. It seems to be every weekend that that's happened to me. You speak to a lot of other people who are going through similar things as well but it is very frustrating.

Crash.net:
What kind of upgrades have the team worked on during the summer break?

Leon Haslam:
It's not easy with the engine rule to do the upgrades and plans that we're all requesting. You've only eight engines to use and they used the break really well in my opinion. We've definitely made a step forward again with the engine and its character. All the other stuff is coming together to hopefully make it become a challenging bike again.

Crash.net:
How do you maintain your confidence and motivation after a couple of trying years?

Leon Haslam:
The problem is when you're having a season like that and still not produced a result - Johnny has produced a result - it gets to where you push too hard. Then you crash or you override, which doesn't help when you're trying to set it [the bike] up. There's no blame pointed anywhere. It's a knock on effect from everything really. It's been frustrating but we just have to knuckle down and try and produce a result out of it.

Crash.net:
The Suzuka Eight Hour was a fantastic event for you and Honda...

Leon Haslam:
The whole weekend at Suzuka is such a big event. You know the bike is running different rules to the World Superbike. The bike is very standard, stable and very, very competitive. The team there was fantastic and to win it two years in a row...I couldn't have wished for anything more. I struggled a bit this year at Suzuka because we didn't get any testing. But the rhythm and the race went to plan so it was all good.

Crash.net:
How did the bike you rode in Japan compare to your PATA World Superbike Honda?

Leon Haslam:
I think what we have here is a lot higher level and a lot higher specification, especially from the electronics and engine side of things. But that also gives it a lot of inconsistencies, whereas the Eight Hour bike wasn't basic in any means but was very stable, did the same thing all the time and it allowed you to just ride hard. That was a nice factor of the bike.

Crash.net:
It's been noted that World Superbike attendances are down at the moment. How can the organisers attract more interest in the series?

Leon Haslam:
The racing is fantastic. 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 to, 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.

Crash.net:
What are your thoughts on the upcoming rule changes for 2015?

Leon Haslam:
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 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.

I'm a little old school. My heart was always in GPs and a prototype bike. Whatever you develop, racing comes back to the road guy in a few years time. We've got to be careful that we don't dumb it down that much where the road bikes are a better bike than what you are racing. That's one thing. You still need that progression and development in terms of what is happening in the sport. We just have to make it fairer so everyone is on a more even playing field.

Crash.net:
Silly season is in full swing at the moment. Have you had much interest from people in the paddock?

Leon Haslam:
Obviously there are a lot of rumours. My heart was always with Honda but it's no secret that I've had a real tough two years. I've got to weigh up the situation in terms of what opportunities I have. For the two years that I've had I'm quite surprised that I have a lot of interest from a lot of manufacturers and other teams.

We're in talks, in negotiations. You've got to put all your cards on the table and make the right pick. In the past it was a lot easier to do because you knew what the rules were. Next year is going to be different. You try to weigh up what's going to suit, what's not going to suit. It's more difficult this year than any other but it's nice to have the interest even though I've had a couple of really bad seasons.

Crash.net:
Is it your priority to stay in this paddock?

Leon Haslam:
For me my aim is to be the Superbike World Champion and I know that I can do it from a riding point of view. You've got to create that package, team, and bike - everything together. Hopefully I can achieve that. There are only three rounds left so it would be nice to get it all wrapped up as early as possible. But there are still a lot of key players moving to GPs and moving manufacturers.

Two years ago I was the guy that everyone was waiting for but we're a little bit further down the list with [recent] results. A few top players will make their decisions, and then we'll make ours from there.