Read about Leon Haslam, including career highlights, pictures and news of the road racer right here at Motorcycle USA.
Rider: Leon Haslam
Team: Pata Honda
Machine: Honda CBR1000RR (#91)
Born: May 31, 1983 in Smalley, Derbyshire, England
This English born racer is the son of the legendary Ron Haslam, so you know speed is definitely in his DNA. His racing career started at a young age when he won the 1995-96 National Youth Motocross championships. He advanced to road course racing in the following years and by 2000 was competing in the 125 world championship. Somehow he managed to finagle his way onto a 500cc Grand Prix machine the following year where he became the youngest rider to turn a wheel in anger in GP history.
Then reality set in and Leon returned to the national scene, signing on to compete in the British Supersport and Superbike series which led to him signing on to race alongside Noriyuki Haga on the Airwaves Ducati in 2004. He finished eighth that season and gained valuable exposure on one of the top teams in the championship that year. As a wildcard rider in the BSB series, he won a deluged race at Brands Hatch and started his legacy in British Superbike.
Leon Haslam made his World Superbike debut in 2009 with Stiggy Racing Honda, finishing sixth overall.
From 2005 to 2008 Haslam raced full time in the British Superbike series. He finished fourth his first year and then came into his own during the ’06 season. He finished in the runner-up position eight times, won at Croft and the season finale at Brands Hatch, but came up second in the final points. A rough year followed, but 2008 saw an aggressive Haslam leave the Airwaves Ducati squad for HM Plant Honda.
In what was ultimately a disappointing season he still managed to finish second in the British Superbike championship behind fellow countryman, Shane Byrne. At this point the charismatic kid had developed legions of fans in his home country and had established himself as a contender in BSB. His two wildcard efforts helped show his potential for success on the world stage too with wild card rides in World Superbike. At Donington he was racing with the lead pack until he was taken out by another rider in the closing stages of the race. Then, later that year at Portugal he
finished third in the second race only to have the race organizers fly a German flag behind him during the podium ceremony.
At long last, Haslam had earned the opportunity to prove himself in World Superbike once again as a full-time rider. Racing for Stiggy Honda, he had a series of podium finishes to start off the season but faded a bit towards the end. Five DNFs hurt his position in the championship but he still managed to finish sixth overall. His reward was getting picked up by the powerhouse Suzuki Alstare squad for the 2010 season.
The following year witnessed Haslam take his highest finish in his WSBK career. With three race wins and 11 podiums, Haslam was Max Biaggi’s main rival throughout the 2010 season as he finished in the runner-up position. In 2011 Haslam switched to the BMW Motorrad Motorsport garage piloting the S1000RR machine. In his first season with the German marque Haslam experienced little success after only recording three podiums during the 26-race season.
During the 2012 WSB series Haslam continued with BMW Motorrad, piloting the S1000RR to finish in eighth overall. He was a regular contender for top-10 finishes throughout the season, but was only able to make the podium five times. Things got especially rough for him late in the year, as he was forced to retire from one race in each of the final four rounds due to a variety of crashes and technical issues.
For 2013 Haslam has signed on to ride for Honda once again, teaming up with fellow Briton, Jonathan Rea, on the Pata Honda World Superbike team.
Haslam’s first outing with the Pata team was frustrating as bike issues and a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time in Race 2 left him finishing outside the top-five in both races. Results remained similarly disheartening in the following contest and by Round 3 Haslam’s fortunes turned from bad to worse. The British rider crashed in practice at Assen and fractured his leg. Four weeks later he was cleared by medical staff to compete but later decided to opt out of the round at Donington Park when weather turned sour, choosing not to risk further injury in the treacherous conditions.
Mid-season Haslam was back to competitive health and enjoyed a high point at the Suzuka 8-Hour World Endurance race as a member of the winning Musashi RT HARC-PRO Honda team. In WorldSBK Haslam never placed higher than seventh after rejoining the grid. He remained troubled by mechanical issues through to the end of the season and was forced to retire from the final three races of the year due to bike trouble. Haslam placed 13th overall in 2013 and will remain with Pata Honda through the 2014 season.
2013 -13th World Superbike – Honda
2012 – 8th World Superbike – BMW
2011 – 5th World Superbike – BMW
2010 – 2nd World Superbike – Suzuki
2009 – 6th World Superbike – Honda
2008 – 22nd World Superbike – Honda
2008 – 2nd British Superbike – Honda
2007 – 3rd British Superbike – Ducati
2006 – 2nd British Superbike – Ducati
2005 – 4th British Superbike – Ducati
2004 – 8th British Superbike – Ducati
2003 – 21st World Superbike – Ducati