Leon Haslam is set to make a dramatic return to the MCE British Superbike championship in 2016. MCN understands the 32-year-old will be teaming up with JG Speedfit Kawasaki in an 11th-hour deal that will see him ride a third bike alongside James Ellison and Peter Hickman.
Haslam has been linked to a BSB return since the end of the World Superbike season – despite winning two WSB races including his last round victory at Qatar. But with the popular Brit’s Aprilia team yet to commit to their WSB future, he was on the verge of being left high and dry.
Combine Aprilia stalling and the BSB grid filling out unusually early this year and it’s taken a personal intervention from GBmoto team boss Mark Smith-Halvorsen to try and get the Derbyshire rider onto one of his factory-supported and brand new Kawasaki ZX-10Rs.
It now looks certain that he will jump onto Kawasaki machinery for the first time in his career. And with a brand new bike closely developed with the factory team of Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes, it could be the chance that Haslam needs to finally bury his demons in the domestic series.
Speaking to MCN on Monday, Haslam wouldn’t confirm the deal was done, but MCN expects an official announcement this week. Haslam said: “I’ve given Aprilia a long time. They keep asking me to wait week-on-week. I am looking at my BSB options, even though I haven’t signed with anyone yet. There are some quite interesting and intriguing things on the table –and I’m quite excited to move forwards with one of them.”
For the full story, see today December 16th's Motorcycle News.