Kawasaki has announced it will end its partnership with Leon Haslam in the factory team at the end of this World Superbike campaign, as Alex Lowes is expected to replace the British rider for 2020.

After winning the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike title with Kawasaki, Haslam made his return to WorldSBK with the factory Kawasaki squad by replaceing Tom Sykes alongside reigning world champion Jonathan Rea.

But after one season Haslam will leave the KRT squad having struggled to replicate the results of his team-mate, who clinched a fifth consecutive world title at the last round at Magny-Cours, while Haslam is currently down in sixth place in the riders’ standings.

Haslam was also part of the Suzuka 8 Hour-winning squad with Kawasaki this season, securing the Japanese manufacturers’ first win at the iconic endurance event for 25 years, and has duly been given a fond send-off by KRT team manager Guim Roda.

“KRT and KHI welcomed Leon into the team after a nine-year period with Tom Sykes. It was an ideal chance for him to regain experience inside the WorldSBK paddock and an incentive after winning the British Superbike title plus previous success at the Suzuka 8 Hours,” Roda said.

“A primary target for 2019 was for Leon to experience the KRT way of working and to take his race rhythm and performance to a new level with goals like competing at Suzuka as a tempting prospect.

“Winning the 2019 8 Hours race with Jonathan Rea after a 25-year gap for Kawasaki was certainly an incredible achievement alongside regular top five placings in WorldSBK including several podium visits.

“To achieve all of this despite being away from WorldSBK for three years is testament to Leon’s skill as a rider – especially as he has endured injuries this year, many of which have not been apparent and have certainly not hindered his hunger for success.

“It is my hope that Leon can stay within the Kawasaki family for 2020 and use his KRT experience on factory Ninja machinery to achieve yet more success as well as competing again at the Suzuka 8-Hours. Everyone at KRT wishes Leon well for the future.”

Haslam has been linked with a move to the Puccetti Kawasaki squad for 2020 while he also hasn’t ruled out the option of returning to BSB next season.

Lowes, who recently split with Yamaha and replaced by Toprak Razgatlioglu, is set to take Haslam’s spot at the KRT team next to Rea for 2020.

 

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