Honda Press Release: Leon Haslam Tests The Ten Kate Honda For The First Time

With his career with BMW ending after the final World Superbike race of the season at Magny-Cours on Sunday, Leon Haslam headed north to Assen yesterday, to try the Honda CBR1000RR for the first time with the Ten Kate team, having signed to race with the Dutch team for next season. After the test, the Honda World Superbike press office issued the following press release:


Leon Haslam returns to Honda in Assen test

Leon Haslam rode the Honda World Superbike Team’s CBR1000RR Fireblade in a shakedown test at Assen in the Netherlands yesterday, just three days after completing the 2012 World Superbike championship season at Magny-Cours in France.

The British rider sported the colour scheme of the 2013 road-going version of the CBR that was used by the team at Magny-Cours after being revealed at the Intermot motorcycle show in Cologne, Germany last week.

Haslam, 29, returns to Honda’s CBR machinery after a three-year absence to continue a strong family link to the Japanese manufacturer. With his own 250cc and 500cc GP experience, Haslam, from Derbyshire in the UK, has been racing in the World Superbike championship since 2009 and was runner-up in the 2010 series. He has amassed a total of 28 podium finishes, including three race wins.

No comments or lap times were available from the Assen test, which was primarily to adjust bars and pegs in order to get Haslam comfortable on the CBR. However, he will join new team-mate Jonathan Rea at two tests in Spain next month before a six-week SBK testing ban comes into force on 1 December.

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Comments

Outside of Rea, that bike seems to chew up riders (e.g. Xaus, Neukirchner, Aoyama...even Checa didn't do that well). It'd be nice to see him battling up front again.

His run at the championship on the Alstare Suzuki was incredible. I figured with actual support from the factory BMW team he'd immediately be in contention for a championship.

But I felt like to rode "panicky" all season. Making some dubious choices as far as passes as well as tires. If he can get his confidence back at Ten Kate I'm betting he's back up front again.

-Gene

p.s. I don't actually remember him on a 500cc GP bike. Doesn't seem old enough to even have gotten a chance.

Leon rode in 2001 for a season in 500 GP with the privateer Shell Honda team at age 18 (born 1983) scoring 5 point-scoring positions, best finish being 11th.

He is 29 now, I didn't think he was that old either..

He did an admirable job on the Stiggy Honda in 2009. Same bike only now it's got a lot more development, and promises of Cosworth and HRC power boosts for next season. This is a good move for Leon. He never boded too well with the BMW. It was apparent from the start. Just look what Melandri has been able to do with half the time on it.

Sometimes riders and bikes just don't gel, it's that simple. Just ask Valentino...