BSB series runner-up Leon Haslam showed he’s still got what it takes to run with the World Superbike boys with an impressive showing at the Portimao test this weekend.
Deputising for the injured Randy Krummenacher in the Puccetti Kawasaki squad, which steps up to WSB for the first time this year with the Swiss rookie, Haslam impressed throughout the two-day test to lap fourth quickest overall.
The 33-year-old turned heads as he topped the timesheets towards the end of the day, lapping quickly on both race and qualifying rubber.
“It was good to get out and turn some laps with the Puccetti team,” Haslam told MCN. “I’m quite happy with how it went, more so with my pace on race tyres. I think I could have gone quicker on the qualifier, I was trying the new five lap tyre for Pirelli and on one of my quickest laps in that run I got held up and lost 0.5 to Chaz in the first sector alone. I’m pretty sure had that not happened I could have done a 1’41.
“Of course it’s nice to be able to show that I can still mix it up with the WSB boys and I think it was really valuable for the Puccetti team too as they’ve not raced in WSB before and neither has Randy, so it was good for them to get someone with experience on the bike for a few days.”
Haslam has made no secret of his desire to wildcard in the world series alongside his BSB duties this year and while Krummenacher is set to return for the Philip Island test and race, the Brit isn’t ruling anything out.
“Randy was out with a few stitches and it’s likely he’ll be back for Phillip Island, but I’m keen to do some wildcard rides should the opportunity arise this season. There are a few clashes with BSB but even before this test, I’d had conversations with Kawasaki about doing some WSB wildcards like we did in Qatar last year.”
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