Leon Haslam

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Leon Haslam
Leon Haslam in 2010 cropped.JPG
Haslam signing an autograph at Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2010 wearing Alstare Suzuki World Superbike team colours
Nationality English
Born (1983-05-31) 31 May 1983 (age 31)
London Borough of Ealing
Current team Red Devils Roma Aprilia
Bike number 91
Website leonhaslam.com
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Superbike World Championship
Active years 2003–04, 2009–Present
Manufacturers Ducati, Honda, Suzuki, BMW
Championships 0
2014 Championship position 7th (187pts)
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
182 3 27 1 4 1556
British Superbike Championship
Active years 2005-2008
Manufacturers Ducati, Honda
Championships 0
2008 Championship position 2nd (357pts)
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
100 15 53 11 13 1552

Leon Lloyd Haslam (born 31 May 1983 in the London Borough of Ealing)[1] is a motorcycle racer from England. He began racing at an early age and by the time he was in his late teens, he had raced in most of the significant British and international championships. After the 2004 season on a Ducati in World Superbikes with team mate Nori Haga, between 2005 and 2008 he was a regular front-runner in the British Superbike Championship. For 2009 he returned to the Superbike World Championship, riding for Suzuki, BMW, Honda and Aprilia for 2015. Haslam is nicknamed 'Pocket Rocket' and is the son of former road-racer 'Rocket Ron' Haslam.

Early Days 1998–2003[edit]

Haslam was first exposed to motorcycle racing as a baby, often travelling with his parents to his dad's races. He was 1995 and 1996's National Youth Motocross champion,[2] and 1998's MCN Young Rider of the Year after finishing 7th in the British 125cc Championship. He did an assortment of 125cc races in 1999, but quickly advanced into international racing after that. Leon spent the 2000 season with the underprepared Italjet team on their return to the 125cc world championship, then racing a privateer Honda NSR500V in 2001 (scoring five points finishes, as the youngest rider ever to compete in the series), and a 250cc Honda in 2002 (again scoring points five times). At this stage, having never ridden on competitive machinery, he had valuable experience but little in the way of results, leading him to return home. For 2003 Renegade Ducati signed him to ride in the British Supersport championship, but he was promoted to the full blown Superbike after the departure of Sean Emmett,[3] also riding in six World Superbikes races with a best finish of sixth at Assen and Magny Cours.

World Superbike Championship 2004[edit]

For 2004 he did the full WSBK season for Renegade alongside Noriyuki Haga. He was 8th overall with a best of 3rd, finishing as the rookie of the year. Haslam also had an impressive victory in a British Superbike race at Brands Hatch on one of the team's 3 ventures into the series. In torrential rain, this was the only Ducati win in the series all year, even though this was the title-winning bike in both 2003 (Shane "Shakey" Byrne) and 2005 (Gregorio Lavilla).

British Superbikes 2005–2008[edit]

With Renegade switching to Honda machinery and cutting to one rider[4] Haslam moved to BSB with the reformed GSE Racing Squad, now known as Airwaves Ducati. Haslam finished 4th overall behind only team-mate Lavilla and the two HM Plant Hondas of Ryuichi Kiyonari and Michael Rutter.

2006 saw Leon once again on the Airwaves sponsored GSE Ducati 999, partnering Lavilla. In the first 12 races of the 2006 season he finished 2nd no less than 8 times, without winning a race but taking 3 poles and lying 2nd overall. The wins came later; he was particularly proud of a win in the wet at Croft.

He managed to push for the title all the way to the last race of the season at a rain soaked Brands Hatch where Leon, Lavilla and Kiyonari all had a chance to win. Leon was running second to Kiyo in the first race when it was stopped after Byrne crashed heavily, and despite storming to victory in the second race, he ended the season in second place and Lavilla (who crashed in race one) was third. Leon did however drive off in the £50,000 Audi convertible which was his prize for scoring the most points in the Audi pole position competition.

While Lavilla won the first four races and lead the championship after eight, Haslam struggled to match these results. However, two second places at Oulton Park in round four moved him up to fourth overall. He ultimately finished 3rd, behind Kiyonari and Jonathan Rea's Hondas but ahead of a fading Lavilla.

Haslam was released by Airwaves Ducati for 2008, when they initially withdrew from the series over questions about the legality of the Ducati 1098 under the new BSB tuning rules.[5] He joined Airwaves' rivals HM Plant Honda, but the Ducati proved to be the faster bike, with Shakey Byrne dominating the championship. Haslam struggled early in the season [6] and was generally outpaced by younger team-mate Cal Crutchlow, and was excluded from race 2 at Oulton Park after a racing incident with Tom Sykes.[7] Despite several podium finishes his first win did not come until round 8 at Knockhill, when race leader Byrne crashed heavily.[8] He then took a double win at Cadwell Park, despite not starting on the front row[9]

Haslam also made two wild card appearance in the World Superbike Championship at Donington Park and Portimão. A competitive showing at Donington ended with disappointing results. In race one he ran with the leaders after a red flag, but eased off after seeing a white flag with a red cross, which means the surface is slippery in WSBK, while in British Superbike, that indicates a safety vehicle is on course (typically a full-course caution period to neutralise the race with the deployment of the safety car). The time he lost here proved costly, as he was taken out a lap later. In race two he crashed out of fourth place with just three laps to go. At Portimão he finished third in race two, with a German flag above him on the podium, implying that the officials expected Max Neukirchner to overhaul him.

World Superbike Championship 2009–Present[edit]

WSBK remained his target for 2009,[10] and he joined the Stiggy Honda team for their first World Superbike campaign,[11] starting the year strongly with a third place finish at the first round at Phillip Island in race two. The Dutch Grand Prix at Assen was also a very successful weekend as Haslam finished on the podium in both races with a third place in race one and a second place in race two. He finished the season 6th overall, comfortably the top privateer.

Haslam finished the 2010 season as runner-up to Max Biaggi.

Haslam's impressive results for Stiggy led to Alstare Suzuki signing him to partner Sylvain Guintoli for the 2010 season.[12] He took his first WSBK pole in the 2010 season opener at Phillip Island.[13] He then went on to win his first World Superbike race in race one, narrowly beating Michel Fabrizio by 0.004 seconds at the line in the closest finish ever recorded in a World Superbike race. Haslam was also in control of race two until 3 turns from the end he was overtaken by the eventual winner Carlos Checa. He took two second places at round 2 in Portugal.[14] These strong results continued in the early part of the season, before a run of four successive wins for Max Biaggi's Aprilia. This led Haslam to publicly ask Suzuki Japan for more resources, in order to prevent their title challenge from faltering.[15] Haslam beat Biaggi in both Silverstone races, to trim Biaggi's championship lead to 60 points.[16] The championship went down to the penultimate round at Imola with Haslam needing to win, in race one both Haslam and Biaggi made mistakes, Biaggi ran straight on at turns 3 and 4 the Villeneuve esses cutting across the track right in front of the competitors and was lucky not to be hit or fall off, he recovered to finish 11th while Haslam was 2nd going into the final lap, coming into rivazza one Haslam tried to go underneath race leader Carlos Checa, Haslam however could not stop the bike and ended up in the gravel and could only manage a 5th place,[17] in race 2 Biaggi made a much better start and was right at the front from the start, with Haslam. Haslam made a mistake on lap 7 which dropped him back to 5th place, trying to make his way back up the field going through the Villeneuve esses his engine blew up, this was the Suzuki's first mechanical failure of the year.[18] This handed the title to Max Biaggi who came home 5th, with wild celebrations on the slow down lap.[19] On the 27 September Haslam was released from his two-year contract with Alstare Suzuki by mutual consent, team manager Francis Batta citing the lack of response to the call for help from the Suzuki factory.[20]

On 28 September 2010, Haslam signed a two-year contract with the BMW team to ride in the 2011 Superbike World Championship season,[21] and for the 2013 season he joined Ten Kate Honda Fireblade WSB[22] operating as Team Pata Honda, with Ulsterman Jonny Rea as team-mate.[23]

In July 2013 Haslam won the prestigious Coke Zero Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race in Japan, partnered-up for the race with Team Pata World Supersport rider Michael van der Mark – debuting at Suzuka – and 2010 winner Takumi Takahashi in the MuSashi HARC Pro Honda team.[24] The trio repeated victory for the 2014 Coke Zero Suzuka 8 Hours.

After a disappointing 2014 season on the Ten Kate Pata Honda with injuries and average results, Haslam signed to race Aprilia for Red Devils Roma Team in 2015,[25] together with Spanish team mate Jordi Torres.[26]

Personal life[edit]

Leon has two sisters, Emma and Zoe.[27] In 2010, he married his long term partner, former glamour model turned TV presenter Olivia Stringer in Sweden,[28][29] who gave birth to their daughter Ava May in December 2011[30] and Max Peter on 11 August 2013.

Haslam owns the snooker cue that Peter Ebdon used to win the 2002 World Snooker Championship, and has it framed on his wall. He also enjoys playing poker, pool and golf, and supports Manchester United F.C.. His training partners include his wife, and the Formula Renault front-runner Riki Christodoulou. At Mallory Park he also made his debut in the British Rallycross Championship in a Suzuki Swift,[31] for which he then stated he had plans to run in the series part-time in 2010.

Career statistics[edit]

Grand Prix motorcycle racing[edit]

Races by year[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Year Class Bike 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Pos Pts
1998 125cc Honda JPN MAL SPA ITA FRA MAD NED GBR
17
GER CZE IMO CAT AUS ARG NC 0
1999 125cc Honda MAL JPN SPA FRA ITA CAT NED GBR
19
GER CZE IMO VAL AUS RSA BRA ARG NC 0
2000 125cc Italjet RSA
22
MAL
19
JPN
Ret
SPA
17
FRA
DNQ
ITA
22
CAT
10
NED
18
GBR
19
GER
Ret
CZE
17
POR
Ret
VAL
22
BRA
Ret
PAC
Ret
AUS
17
27th 6
2001 500cc Honda JPN
13
RSA
17
SPA
16
FRA
DNS
ITA CAT
WD
NED
13
GBR
17
GER
Ret
CZE
Ret
POR
Ret
VAL
16
PAC
15
AUS
19
MAL
15
BRA
11
19th 13
2002 250cc Honda JPN
Ret
RSA
15
ESP
19
FRA
Ret
ITA
18
CAT
18
NED
Ret
GBR
17
GER
13
CZE
17
POR
7
BRA
10
PAC
Ret
MAL
17
AUS
18
VAL
17
18th 19

Superbike World Championship[edit]

Races by year[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Pos. Pts
R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2
2003 Ducati SPA SPA AUS AUS JPN JPN ITA ITA GER GER GBR GBR SMR SMR USA USA GBR
Ret
GBR
10
NED
6
NED
7
ITA ITA FRA
Ret
FRA
6
21st 35
2004 Ducati SPA
5
SPA
9
AUS
Ret
AUS
10
SMR
11
SMR
5
ITA
5
ITA
4
GER
7
GER
3
GBR
5
GBR
4
USA
9
USA
Ret
EUR
Ret
EUR
Ret
NED
6
NED
6
ITA
10
ITA
12
FRA
7
FRA
6
8th 169
2008 Honda QAT QAT AUS AUS SPA SPA NED NED ITA ITA USA USA GER GER SMR SMR CZE CZE GBR GBR EUR
8
EUR
Ret
ITA ITA FRA FRA POR
7
POR
3
22nd 33
2009 Honda AUS
6
AUS
3
QAT
11
QAT
11
SPA
5
SPA
5
NED
3
NED
2
ITA
Ret
ITA
7
RSA
Ret
RSA
4
USA
10
USA
Ret
SMR
12
SMR
8
GBR
4
GBR
2
CZE
7
CZE
12
GER
6
GER
5
ITA
6
ITA
8
FRA
5
FRA
5
POR
Ret
POR
Ret
6th 241
2010 Suzuki AUS
1
AUS
2
POR
2
POR
2
SPA
1
SPA
4
NED
11
NED
2
ITA
4
ITA
2
RSA
3
RSA
1
USA
2
USA
Ret
SMR
8
SMR
2
CZE
8
CZE
10
GBR
3
GBR
4
GER
6
GER
3
ITA
5
ITA
Ret
FRA
2
FRA
10
2nd 376
2011 BMW AUS
3
AUS
5
EUR
4
EUR
4
NED
12
NED
5
ITA
3
ITA
Ret
USA
8
USA
13
SMR
Ret
SMR
5
SPA
9
SPA
9
CZE
8
CZE
7
GBR
4
GBR
8
GER
5
GER
9
ITA
Ret
ITA
5
FRA
3
FRA
4
POR
9
POR
15
5th 224
2012 BMW AUS
12
AUS
5
ITA
3
ITA
3
NED
Ret
NED
5
ITA
C
ITA
2
EUR
2
EUR
15
USA
10
USA
8
SMR
12
SMR
3
SPA
7
SPA
6
CZE
7
CZE
7
GBR
6
GBR
17
RUS
6
RUS
Ret
GER
7
GER
Ret
POR
19
POR
Ret
FRA
5
FRA
Ret
8th 200
2013 Honda AUS
7
AUS
10
SPA
9
SPA
9
NED
DNS
NED
DNS
ITA ITA GBR
DNS
GBR
DNS
POR
Ret
POR
DNS
ITA
10
ITA
9
RUS
Ret
RUS
C
GBR
7
GBR
Ret
GER
7
GER
13
TUR
9
TUR
8
USA
Ret
USA
11
FRA
8
FRA
Ret
SPA
Ret
SPA
Ret
13th 91
2014 Honda AUS
Ret
AUS
6
SPA
9
SPA
8
NED
8
NED
5
ITA
10
ITA
8
GBR
8
GBR
7
MAL
7
MAL
11
SMR
10
SMR
12
POR
11
POR
5
USA
7
USA
7
SPA
7
SPA
8
FRA
6
FRA
3
QAT
11
QAT
10
7th 187

British Superbike Championship[edit]

Races by year[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Pos Pts Ref
R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2
2005 Ducati BHI
Ret
BHI
4
THR
4
THR
7
MAL
3
MAL
5
OUL
4
OUL
1
MOP
Ret
MOP
2
CRO
6
CRO
Ret
KNO
5
KNO
5
SNE
2
SNE
Ret
SIL
2
SIL
3
CAD
6
CAD
1
OUL
4
OUL
4
DON
3
DON
2
BHGP
2
BHGP
1
4th 350 [32]
2006 Ducati BHI
Ret
BHI
2
DON
3
DON
2
THR
2
THR
2
OUL
3
OUL
7
MOP
C
MOP
C
MAL
2
MAL
2
SNE
2
SNE
2
KNO
3
KNO
3
OUL
2
OUL
3
CRO
4
CRO
1
CAD
2
CAD
1
SIL
Ret
SIL
3
BHGP
2
BHGP
1
2nd 458 [33]
2007 Ducati BHGP
6
BHGP
4
THR
6
THR
6
SIL
6
SIL
5
OUL
2
OUL
2
SNE
3
SNE
5
MOP
1
MOP
4
KNO
3
KNO
2
OUL
4
OUL
4
MAL
3
MAL
2
CRO
5
CRO
6
CAD
1
CAD
Ret
DON
1
DON
1
BHI
4
BHI
5
3rd 387 [34]
2008 Honda THR
4
THR
Ret
OUL
2
OUL
Ret
BHGP
4
BHGP
6
DON
2
DON
2
SNE
5
SNE
5
MAL
2
MAL
6
OUL
4
OUL
4
KNO
Ret
KNO
1
CAD
1
CAD
1
CRO
2
CRO
1
SIL
11
SIL
1
BHI
4
BHI
2
2nd 357 [35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Haslam, Ron (2009). Rocket Men. Random House. p. 171. ISBN 0-553-81936-4. Retrieved 29 August 2013. [...] Ann had given birth alone in Ealing Hospital. 
  2. ^ http://www.booksattransworld.co.uk/catalog/book.htm?command=Search&db=twmain.txt&eqisbndata=0593059638
  3. ^ http://www.builtforspeed.biz/index.php?op=NEArticle&sid=892
  4. ^ http://official.sportnetwork.net/main/s385/st61218.htm
  5. ^ http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/sport/sportresults/mcn/2007/october/oct15-21/oct1507gseracingquitbsb/
  6. ^ http://betting.betfair.com/betting/other/the-betfair-big-interview-leon-haslam-260608.html
  7. ^ http://www.crash.net/motorsport/bsb/news/162950-0/haslam_excluded.html
  8. ^ http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/sport/sportresults/mcn/2008/august/4-10/aug1008-knockhill-bsb-race-2-/
  9. ^ Fern, Dave (2008-08-25). "Leon Haslam happy with first winning double of the season at Cadwell Park". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  10. ^ "Haslam hungry for world glory". Derby Telegraph (Derby Telegraph Media Group Ltd.). 2008-09-08. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  11. ^ Fern, Deve (2008-10-03). "Leon Haslam joins Stiggy Honda team". The Daily Telegraph (London: Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  12. ^ "Guintoli promoted to Suzuki WSBK team". crash.net (Crash Media Group). 2009-10-12. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  13. ^ "First mission accomplished for Haslam". crash.net (Crash Media Group). 2010-02-27. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  14. ^ "Haslam: I want more wins now!". crash.net (Crash Media Group). 2010-03-30. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  15. ^ "Haslam calls on Suzuki Japan for 'help'". crash.net (Crash Media Group). 2010-06-28. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  16. ^ "'Frustrated' Haslam chips away at Biaggi’s advantage". crash.net (Crash Media Group). 2010-08-02. Retrieved 2010-08-03. 
  17. ^ http://www.crash.net/world+superbikes/results/163648/1/imola_-_race_results_1.html
  18. ^ http://www.crash.net/world+superbikes/news/163675/1/haslams_title_dreams_go_up_in_smoke.html
  19. ^ http://www.crash.net/world+superbikes/results/163664/1/imola_-_race_results_2.html
  20. ^ http://www.crash.net/world+superbikes/news/163691/1/haslam_released_from_suzuki_contract.html
  21. ^ "Haslam makes BMW move". Insidebikes (Carole Nash). 2010-10-28. Retrieved 2010-10-28. 
  22. ^ [1] Team Pata Honda, 2013 CBR1000RR Race Bike page. Official Site. Retrieved 2013-07-21
  23. ^ [2] Team Pata Honda. Home Page. Official Site. Retrieved 2013-07-21
  24. ^ [3] Honda Pro Racing Suzuka result 2013, MuSashi team riders profiled and Fireblade Superbike Retrieved 2013-08-03
  25. ^ Leon Haslam official site, November 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-20
  26. ^ Haslam gets Torres as 2015 team mate Motorcycle News, 3 December 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-20
  27. ^ http://www.rbooks.co.uk/product.aspx?id=0593059638
  28. ^ Sloman, Cara (2010-12-11). "Leon Haslam says he has best man on his side for tilt at World Superbike title". Daily Mail (London). 
  29. ^ http://www.advancedmotorcyclinguk.co.uk/newsfeeds/race-news/superbikes/6186-leon-haslam-gets-married.html
  30. ^ "Haslam remains as driven as ever". BBC News.  January 2012. Leon's first child's birth.
  31. ^ http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/sport/sportresults/World-Superbikes/2009/October/oct1709-haslam-to-race-at-rallycross/
  32. ^ http://www.superbike-racing.co.uk/VitalStatistics/Statistics/2005.htm
  33. ^ http://www.superbike-racing.co.uk/VitalStatistics/Statistics/2006.htm
  34. ^ http://www.superbike-racing.co.uk/VitalStatistics/Statistics/2007.htm
  35. ^ http://www.superbike-racing.co.uk/VitalStatistics/Statistics/2008.htm

External links[edit]

See also[edit]