Leon Haslam ponders 2022 WorldSBK and BSB options, 'nothing is fixed'

Leon Haslam is mulling possible options for a 2022 WorldSBK or BSB ride after being linked with Pedercini Kawasaki and Lee Hardy Racing respectively

Leon Haslam - HRC Honda WorldSBK


Leon Haslam says ‘nothing is fixed’ with regards to his racing plans in 2022 as he mulls over reported offers to compete in both the WorldSBK Championship and the British Superbike Championship (BSB).

The experienced racer remains without a ride after his two-year tenure with the HRC Honda WorldSBK team came to an end in 2021.

With no word on a deal over the Christmas period, Haslam’s options in both series appear thin, but it is understood he has at least one offer from a front-running BSB team and has had interest from what is expected to be the final available spot on the WorldSBK grid.

Though both the factory-assisted VisionTrack Ducati and Buildbase Suzuki are yet to confirm its riders for the 2022 BSB season, Haslam has been closely linked to joining Lee Hardy Racing aboard a Kawasaki ZX-10RR.

Competing under the RAF Regular & Reserves banner in recent seasons with youngster Ryan Vickers, it was the team that pushed Haslam hardest towards his 2018 BSB title in the hands of Jake Dixon.

However, it is possible Haslam could find a berth at Buildbase Suzuki too, reviving a relationship with the manufacturer 12 years on from taking Suzuki to the runners-up spot in the 2010 WorldSBK Championship.

Alternatively, Haslam could earn an extended stay in WorldSBK with the Outdo TPR (Team PedercinI Racing) Kawasaki outfit. The veteran Italian team has shown an interest in Haslam’s fellow out-of-work Briton Tom Sykes, who in turn is thought to be weighing up a deal between that and VisionTrack Ducati.

For now, Haslam - who has raced Honda, Suzuki, BMW, Aprilia and Kawasaki machinery in WorldSBK since 2009 - says he is keeping his options open.

"I have two options in BSB, nothing is fixed," Haslam told Speedweek.com. “I already tested a Kawasaki in BSB configuration at Christmas."

Leon Haslam - JG Speedfit Kawasaki [credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]

Why Leon Haslam remains an asset in WorldSBK and BSB

You need to delve deep into the memory reserves to recollect the early days of Haslam’s extraordinarily long racing career.

Now 38, it was 21 years ago in 2001 that Haslam first made his name on the international racing scene with a season in 500GP aboard the Hardwick Honda. Though it didn’t lead to a prolonged stay in the GP ranks, it would set in motion a successful career at Superbike level from 2003.

Since then, Haslam has become a trusted hand at British and International level, with teams benefiting as much from his experience as his speed.

Though results have been harder to come by in recent years, it’s easy to forget Haslam was the dominant force in BSB only a few years ago - winning 30 races over three seasons on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki - while the iffy competitiveness of the HRC Honda CBR1000RR-R belied pace that measured up to ex-MotoGP rider Alvaro Bautista.

A return to BSB and the bike that romped to 15 wins en route to the 2018 title qualifies Haslam as a de facto title contender despite the privateer surroundings, even before you consider he has all the right credentials for consistency to maximise the Title Showdown format.

A WorldSBK berth at Pedercini Kawasaki represents more of a challenge to stand out, but while the Italian team has been pinned to the back of the grid for the past couple of years, again it is easy to forget it was a regular top ten contender with Jordi Torres in 2019.

So while Haslam may not be in the first flush of youth relative to his rivals, hands don’t come more trusted on a Superbike than his.

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