Ron Haslam

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Ron Haslam
Ron Haslam on a Norton motorcycle.jpg
Ron Haslam on the rotary engined Norton
Nationality British
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Active years 1977 - 1993
First race 1983 500cc South African Grand Prix
Last race 1993 500cc British Grand Prix
Team(s) Honda, Suzuki, Cagiva, Norton
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
106 0 9 1 0 115

Ronald Haslam (born June 22, 1956) is a British former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer who has been racing for over thirty years, winning three World titles, four British championships and having ridden in almost 110 GPs.

One of ten brothers and sisters from Milnhay Road in the mining town of Langley Mill, near Heanor, Derbyshire, Haslam started racing in 1972 at the age of 15 on a 750cc Norton Commando owned jointly by elder brothers Phil and Terry. On a wet and slippery track at Cadwell Park he finished seventh and eighth in his two races. He raced just a couple of meetings that year and only a handful in 1973. Following the death of Phil in a racing accident at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough, in July 1974, the teenager pulled out of the sport for the rest of that season. In 1984 another brother, Terry, was killed racing a sidecar outfit at Assen, the Netherlands. Despite those cruel blows, Haslam kept on riding in his chosen sport, with his most recent outing being on a Ducati 998 at the Race of the Year at Mallory Park in October 2004. Haslam spends much of his time helping his son, Leon Haslam, in his expanding racing career and training riders and racers alike at the Ron Haslam Race School at Donington.

Career record[edit]

Haslam was runner-up in the 750 British championship in 1975, ‘76 and ‘77 and second in the British Formula One series in 1978. Between 1979 and ‘84 he won four British titles, the 1979 British TT Formula One, the 1981 MCN British Streetbike - when he won seven out of eight rounds - the 1982 British TT Formula One and the 1984 ITV World of Sport Superbike series. He has also won two World titles - the TT Formula One crown in 1979 and the TT Formula Three championship in 1980. Haslam won the gruelling Macau GP six times – a record. He was also runner-up in the 1982 TT Formula One World series. He is a world speed record holder, after his efforts on the 500 Elf on a private, banked circuit in France in 1986, when he claimed the Flying Kilometre, the Standing Start Mile and Standing Start 10 Kilometre records

Early career[edit]

In his early days, Haslam raced on the British short circuits, at first under the sponsorship of Halifax car dealer Mal Carter and then with Honda Britain. In the 1976 season he had 16 wins. In 1978 he rode 125, 250, 500, 1000cc, Superbike and F1 machinery and after adding a 350 to his stable the following year he became the first rider to win five different races in a day at Oulton Park and repeated the feat at Carnaby later the same season. Haslam has raced in many Endurance events, with his best result being a second in the 1979 Suzuka 8 Hours race in Japan.

Motorcycle Grand Prix[edit]

Haslam made his Grand Prix debut at the 1977 500cc British Grand Prix at Silverstone on a 500 Suzuki, crashing out of the race. In 1982 Haslam raced in three more GPs on the experimental four-stroke Honda NR500. He finishing 12th at the Dutch TT at Assen in June, 11th the following weekend at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps and then 15th at Silverstone in August. At the end of the season Haslam took the new two-stroke Honda NS500 to Malaysia and won the non-world championship Kuala Lumpur Grand Prix. In 1983 he was back for a full season on a factory Honda as team-mate with American Freddie Spencer. He raced in the 500 class from then until the end of the 1990 season, spending three years developing the experimental Elf Honda race bike with its single-sided swingarm front suspension.

In eight years in the premier class, Haslam had 61 top ten finishes, including nine on the podium. His best result in 1985, his third and final year with Honda, was when he was second in the Dutch TT at Assen. Haslam was beaten to the line by Randy Mamola, but was nearly 23 seconds in front of third placed finisher Wayne Gardner, who set the fastest lap of the race. He was third in eight other races, including the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1984 to Randy Mamola and Eddie Lawson. In his final season on the Italian Cagiva alongside Randy Mamola and Alex Barros. In 1987 when he ended the season fourth behind champion Wayne Gardner, runner-up Randy Mamola and third placed Eddie Lawson. Haslam was fastest in practice just once, at the Swedish Grand Prix at Anderstorp in 1984. These results put Haslam as Britain’s second best Grand Prix competitor behind Barry Sheene.

Macau[edit]

Haslam raced in the Macau Grand Prix six times at the Guia circuit and won a record-breaking six times. His first victory at the race in 1981 marked the first time a four-stroke had ever won there. His record of 6 wins was equalled by Michael Rutter at the 2005 meeting, and it's just broken at the 2011 one.

Isle of Man TT Races[edit]

Haslam made his mark at the Isle of Man TT in 1981, when he was named winner of the Formula 1 TT, only for the organisers to give the win the following day to Graeme Crosby. Haslam was back the following year to claim an undisputed victory.

Transatlantic Match Motorcycle Races[edit]

Haslam was a member of the British team in the then-annual Transatlantic Match Races between Britain and the USA. Haslam was at his best in the 1983, ending the three-day meeting as overall top points-scorer. In the opening round at Oulton Park on the Good Friday, Haslam was beaten to the finish line by Randy Mamola in the first of two, 11 lap races. Haslam, on the Honda NS500, equaled the lap record as he strove to beat the American. In race two Mamola again came out on top, with both riders this time sharing the fastest lap, which was one tenth of a second off the record. At that point, Britain led 79 points to 69. At Snetterton two days later Haslam notched-up victories in the rain, chased home each time by Kenny Roberts. Britain’s lead had grown to 28 points, 161 to 133. In the dry at Brands Hatch the following day Haslam again won both team races to lead Britain to a 245 to 198 victory. Haslam had scored 70 points of his team’s total, 15 more than Roger Marshall and 30 better than the next best, Barry Sheene. The Langley Mill racer was the highest British points-scorer again in 1984, on a standard road-going Honda VFR750 in the series in 1986, on which he took two thirds at Donington Park.

Later racing career[edit]

After racing during 1990 in motorcycle Grands Prix with Cagiva, Haslam was back full-time in the UK in 1991 with Norton. He finished second in the British Superbike Championship, and stayed with Norton the following season. In 1993 he managed to score two points in the 500cc British Grand Prix in which took part as a wild card, with a 14th place finish, surviving an incident-packed race. In the same race, Haslam's pupil, James Haydon, made his debut on the international scene by finishing in the points at 11th place. British Grand Prix fans witnessed an impressive performance when he took a self-tuned production Yamaha into 12th place in the 250 support race at the British Grand Prix at Donington Park in 1994. In 1995 Haslam contested the first Triumph Speed Triple series, winning the Oulton Park round of the championship. When Haslam’s son Leon Haslam switched from motocross to road racing in 1997, the elder Haslam concentrated his efforts on helping the youngster’s career. He competed in the British 125 championship to give real practical assistance to Leon out on the track, and also took fifth place at Donington Park in 1998. Haslam rode the 125 again the following year, but pressure from the organisers made him stop after just a couple of rounds and restrict his coaching to the pits. In 2000, Haslam raced a Honda Fireblade in the British Superstock series, marking his 28th year of competitive racing, with a best result of 6th at Donington Park. The same year he and Leon made history by becoming the first British father and son, as well as the oldest and youngest riders, to race in the same Grand Prix when he competed on the Sabre Racing bike in the 500 class and Leon raced the factory Italjet in the 125 event at Le Mans, France.

Present[edit]

The Haslam farmhouse home is in Smalley, Derbyshire, where he lives with wife Ann and his children, Leon Haslam, Emma and Zoe. Haslam’s popularity with British race fans was shown when he was voted MCN Man of the Year in 1981. Haslam’s abilities as a trainer were recognised by Robert Fearnall, the former promoter at Donington Park, who launched Team Great Britain in 1992. The programme ran for five-years and Ron’s instruction helped launch the careers of two top British riders, James Haydon and Karl Harris. Today, Haslam runs his race school now based at Donington Park having moved from Silverstone, the home of the British Motorcycle Grand Prix in 2014. Haslam is a qualified private pilot, and he flies a Renegade Spirit biplane (with flat-twin BMW engine).

Motorcycle Grand Prix results [1][edit]

Points system from 1969 to 1987:

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Points 15 12 10 8 6 5 4 3 2 1

Points system from 1988 to 1992:

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Points 20 17 15 13 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Points system from 1993 onwards:

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Points 25 20 16 13 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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

Year Class Team Machine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Points Rank Wins
1977 500cc Suzuki RG500 VEN
-
AUT
-
GER
-
NAT
-
FRA
-
NED
-
BEL
-
SWE
-
FIN
-
CZE
-
GBR
NC
0 - 0
1982 500cc Honda NR500 ARG
-
AUT
-
FRA
-
ESP
-
NAT
-
NED
12
BEL
11
YUG
-
GBR
15
SWE
-
RSM
-
GER
-
0 - 0
1983 500cc HRC-Honda NS500 RSA
3
FRA
3
NAT
NC
GER
NC
ESP
NC
AUT
NC
YUG
NC
NED
DNS
BEL
8
GBR
7
SWE
9
RSM
9
31 8th 0
1984 500cc HRC-Honda NS500 RSA
NC
NAT
6
ESP
4
AUT
4
GER
4
FRA
4
YUG
5
NED
4
BEL
5
GBR
3
SWE
NC
RSM
3
34 6th 0
1985 500cc Rothmans-Honda NSR500 RSA
4
ESP
8
GER
3
NAT
6
AUT
16
YUG
4
NED
2
BEL
6
FRA
5
GBR
14
SWE
3
RSM
5
73 5th 0
1986 500cc Elf-Honda Elf3 ESP
10
NAT
NC
GER
8
AUT
NC
YUG
NC
NED
7
BEL
NC
FRA
7
GBR
9
SWE
9
RSM
9
18 9th 0
1987 500cc Elf-Honda NSR500 JPN
5
ESP
3
GER
3
NAT
5
AUT
4
YUG
4
NED
5
FRA
5
GBR
7
SWE
6
72 4th 0
Elf4 CZE
14
RSM
NC
POR
9
BRA
11
ARG
10
1988 500cc Elf-Honda Elf5 JPN
12
USA
7
ESP
10
EXP
NC
NAT
16
GER
NC
AUT
8
NED
13
BEL
7
YUG
9
FRA
10
GBR
14
SWE
11
CZE
7
BRA
NC
68 11th 0
1989 500cc Pepsi-Suzuki RGV500 JPN
12
AUS
7
USA
NC
ESP
7
NAT
DNS
GER
NC
AUT
7
YUG
8
NED
7
BEL
DNS
FRA
DNS
GBR
7
SWE
6
CZE
8
BRA
5
86 8th 0
1990 500cc Cagiva GP500 JPN
NC
USA
NC
ESP
DNS
NAT
DNS
GER
DNS
AUT
12
YUG
NC
NED
9
BEL
8
FRA
10
GBR
10
SWE
10
CZE
12
HUN
11
AUS
-
46 15th 0
1991 500cc Norton NRV588 JPN
-
AUS
-
USA
-
ESP
-
ITA
-
GER
-
AUT
-
EUR
-
NED
-
FRA
-
GBR
12
RSM
-
CZE
-
VDM
-
MAL
-
4 25th 0
1993 500cc ROC-Yamaha ROC AUS
-
MAL
-
JPN
-
ESP
-
AUT
-
GER
-
NED
-
EUR
-
RSM
-
GBR
14
CZE
-
ITA
-
USA
-
FIM
-
2 37th 0

External links[edit]

References[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Mike Hailwood
TT Formula One World Champion
1979
Succeeded by
Graeme Crosby
Preceded by
Barry Smith
TT Formula Three World Champion
1980
Succeeded by
Barry Smith
Preceded by
Sadao Asami
Macau Motorcyle Grand Prix Winner
1981-1983
Succeeded by
Mick Grant
Preceded by
Mick Grant
Macau Motorcyle Grand Prix Winner
1985-1987
Succeeded by
Kevin Schwantz