Haslam’s GP future in jeopardy

Published: 04 November 2001

Leon Haslam might have scored his best ever 500 finish in the rain-hit Rio GP, but that hasn’t been enough to secure his ride for 2002.

He looked certain to be retained by the Shell Advance squad for the 2002 campaign on a production Honda NSR V-twin with the works V4 due to go to Aprilia's top factory 250 rider Tetsuya Harada next season.

But those plans have dramatically altered after proposed Italian sponsorship collapsed.

One problem is thought to be Harada's wage demands, which, even though they had dropped from around £750,000 to around £500,000, were still too expensive for the team.

Now race bosses are looking at a grid of only 20 bikes for the combined two-stroke and four-stroke world championship.

MZ's project looks in serious doubt after designer Mauro Forghieri quit. He told Italian media it was due to a lack of funds.

Haslam has no other offers on the table for 2002.