British Superbike star Leon Haslam will make a wildcard appearance in the UK round of the World Superbike Championship at Donington Park as he joins the Puccetti Kawasaki team.
After testing the team’s machine at Portimao in January, Haslam, who recently renewed a sponsorship arrangement with Donington, will make his return to the world series this May alongside the team’s regular rider Randy Krummenacher.
Before heading back to BSB, Haslam was a regular WSB frontrunner and showed he still has what it takes to fight at the sharp end when he raced in the final round of the 2017 season in Qatar and took an impressive fifth place for the Pedercini Kawasaki team.
“WSB wildcards were always part of the plan for 2017 and what better place to start than my home round,” says Haslam. “It’s a circuit I know well and I know the Kawasaki goes strong there, Tom has won the last eight races!
“I tested the bike earlier this year and with the exception to the electronics, it seems pretty close to the factory bikes. We showed what we could do with the Pedercini bike in Qatar with fifth and in theory this bike should be closer to the factory bikes than that was.”
With team boss Andrew Pitt knowing Haslam well, it might not be the only time he rides their ZX-10R this season.
“If there’s opportunity to do more than Donington I’ll be more than happy,” he continues. “It’s good to show that the top level in BSB can still compete in WSB and who knows what it means for the future.”
Haslam’s wild card entry will be supported by his BSB team’s title sponsors JG Speedfit. “It’s great that Mike and the guys at JG Speedfit are supporting our entry, hopefully we can all enjoy some success together at the British round of the World Superbike Championship to complement our BSB exploits.”
With Haslam recently confirmed to return to the Suzuka Eight Hour with Team Green in July, it’s likely any further WSB wildards would take place at the end of the 2017 BSB season with both Jerez and Qatar taking place after the flag drops on the domestic series at Brands Hatch in October.
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