While the coronavirus pandemic has put the sporting world on hold, teams are doing what they can to prepare for the eventual resumption of the season which is keeping Leon Haslam and Honda’s World Superbike efforts busy.

Following the 2020 World Superbike opening round at Phillip Island, the series has effectively joined the rest of sport in suspending its events as part of measures taken to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Like many riders, Haslam has been keeping fit and training where possible under current health authority guidelines, but he is also working with his Honda team via telephone calls and emails to improve the new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade package after its race debut in Australia.

“The big positive is the effort my team, Honda and HRC are putting in,” Haslam said. “We continue to communicate and I know the work never stops.

“They have one goal – to win – so that’s not something I have to worry about.

“I’m still getting emails and calls and I know that people are thinking and analysing the information so I’m happy to be a part of this and looking forward to returning to the track.”

While teams and riders are unable to race or test, there is no ban on work back at team bases – subject to shutdown rules in each country – and staff are still able to work from home under current restrictions.

Looking at his own preparations, Haslam has been adapting his training as he focuses on the eventual restart of the World Superbike season.

“I have a good trainer who I see every day. Normally, I would ride three or four times a week, trail, enduro or MX,” he said. “It’s harder in terms of travel now of course, so while I’d normally be over in Barcelona flat-tracking or round at friends’ houses for MX.

“Now I’m just sticking to a standard training programme, trying to keep a positive mind and always working to improve the fitness, and try to keep as healthy as possible.

“The coronavirus has been a little strange for me. I have many friends in Italy and Europe who have been affected a lot. Things are now getting more serious in the UK too, with schools gradually closing and new rules coming in.

“For me, it’s more the uncertainty regarding what’s going to happen day by day. All we can do is listen to the professionals, do what we can to stay safe, and our focus on our families. We just need to try and make the most of each day.”

Provisionally, the next 2020 World Superbike round remains scheduled at Assen on April 17-19, but it looks almost certain the race weekend will be postponed amid coronavirus travel restrictions across Europe.

 

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