Kawsaki confirm Haslam to exit factory WorldSBK team

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Kawasaki has this morning confirmed Leon Haslam will exit the factory WorldSBK team at the end of this season but give no clues as to his destination.

The current British Superbike Champion joined Jonathan Rea in the team at the beginning of this year and despite being in the fight for championship third, he will be replaced by Alex Lowes in 2020.

Kawasaki do not state whether Haslam is leaving the brand or just the works team, so there could be options for him at Puccetti or on a third bike at FS-3 in BSB. Haslam also has options at Ten Kate Yamaha and possibly Barni Ducati too. Team boss Guim Roda expressed a wish for the Derby man to remain in the Kawasaki family.

“KRT and KHI welcomed Leon into the team after a nine year period with Tom Sykes. It was an ideal chance for him to regain experience inside the WorldSBK paddock and an incentive after winning the British Superbike title plus previous success at the Suzuka Eight-Hours,” said Roda.

“A primary target for 2019 was for Leon to experience the KRT way of working and to take his race rhythm and performance to a new level with goals like competing at Suzuka as a tempting prospect. Winning the 2019 8 Hours race with Jonathan Rea after a 25 year gap for Kawasaki was certainly an incredible achievement alongside regular top five placings in WorldSBK including several podium visits.

“To achieve all of this despite being away from WorldSBK for three years is testament to Leon’s skill as a rider – especially as he has endured injuries this year, many of which have not been apparent and have certainly not hindered his hunger for success.

“It is my hope that Leon can stay within the Kawasaki family for 2020 and use his KRT experience on factory Ninja machinery to achieve yet more success as well as competing again at the Suzuka Eight-Hours. Everyone at KRT wishes Leon well for the future.”