British MotoGP: Leon Haslam forced to reject Team Roberts MotoGP ride

Published: 21 June 2007

British Superbike rider Leon Haslam was forced to reject a late approach from Kenny Roberts’ MotoGP squad about a ride in this weekend’s British GP at Donington Park.

The Banbury-based team contacted Leon Haslam after a deal with HM Plant Honda British superbike rider Jonathan Rea collapsed at the last-minute.

Jonathan Rea was due to ride the Honda-powered KR212V in Sunday’s 30-lap MotoGP race but he was withdrawn at the request of Honda bosses in Japan. 

Still keen to run a British rider this weekend, Team Roberts did speak briefly to Leon Haslam earlier this week, though it was always going to be a long shot with Haslam under contract to the Airwaves Ducati squad.

Leon Haslam confirmed the approach but accepted he was never likely to be released from his Ducati contract.

“The team contacted me and asked me if I’d be interested and I was well up for it. I was gutted but obviously my loyalty is to Ducati.

“I totally understand their position but I told Team Roberts to ask,” said Leon Haslam, who claimed his first British Superbike series win last weekend at Mondello Park.

Team Roberts manager Chuck Aksland said: “I talked to Leon and we had a few calls from some other riders. Obviously Leon is under contract to the Airwaves Ducati team and while we tried, really it was a non-starter. He would have been a good choice because he has got Grand Prix experience.”