Leon Haslam: what are you doing now your day job is postponed?

| | WorldSBK
Picture: GeeBee Images

HRC WorldSBK contender Leon Haslam doesn’t have a lot to do at the moment as coronavirus has curtailed the season, so we asked him what he is doing to kill the time.

“The coronavirus has been a little strange for me. I have many friends in Italy and Europe who have been affected a lot. Things are now getting more serious in the UK too, with schools gradually closing and new rules coming in.

“For me, it’s more the uncertainty regarding what’s going to happen day by day. All we can do is listen to the professionals, do what we can to stay safe, and our focus on our families. We just need to try and make the most of each day.

For a world-class professional athlete, training and psychological preparation is very important. Have you changed your physical and mental preparation at all as you wait to return to the racetrack?

“I have a good trainer who I see every day. Normally, I would ride three or four times a week, trail, enduro or MX. It’s harder in terms of travel now of course, so while I’d normally be over in Barcelona flat-tracking or round at friends’ houses for MX, now I’m just sticking to a standard training programme, trying to keep a positive mind and always working to improve the fitness, and try to keep as healthy as possible.

The WorldSBK Championship has been able to complete its first round, as scheduled, in Australia. Over these last two weeks, have you had chance to review the races and analyse that first weekend? How would you judge it, with a clear head, and what do you expect from the next rounds?

“Australia was frustrating for me, as our potential was quite good in race one. We were fighting for the podium with a few laps to go, despite a few small issues. Sunday was something of a disaster, as the potential was there in terms of lap times, but we crashed on lap one of the sprint race and then suffered another crash in the final race of the day.

“The positives were the lap times and where we could have been fighting, while the negative was the issues we had in race one. But we can learn from this and work to rectify those problems whenever we race next.”

Have you kept in touch with your team and with the engineers in Japan?

The big positive is the effort my team, Honda and HRC are putting in. We continue to communicate and I know the work never stops.

“They have one goal – to win – so that’s not something I have to worry about. I’m still getting emails and calls and I know that people are thinking and analysing the information so I’m happy to be a part of this and looking forward to returning to the track.”