Now officially official, BMW has announced that they have signed Leon Haslam for the 2011 World Superbike season. Haslam had been linked to the BMW squad for sometime now, and his move to the German manufacturer was all but a guarantee when Alstare Suzuki announced that they would release the Brit from his contract early. Likely to tie up the the second place position in the 2010 Worldsuperbike Championship this weekend at Magny-Cours, Haslam was leading the WSBK series midway through the season.
Unhappiness with Suzuki’s support level is perhaps the biggest reason for Haslam’s change, which is an issue he won’t have with the BMW World Superbike team. BMW is keen to see the S1000RR win a race next year, and vie for the Championship title. Zie Germans have also been dumping a ton of resources into their squad, hiring the top personnel and technicians.
Haslam will race alongside Troy Corser, who has been developing the WSBK-spec S1000RR from day one, and hopes to improve on Troy’s results. “The team has shown the potential to win and the team has the factory support required so I’m hopeful that I can add the extra little bit that is needed to win.”
With this news, Ruben Xaus will be shown the door, as has been rumored all season. “We would also like to thank Ruben Xaus, who over the last two years has helped to take the team to where it is today,” said BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director Berthold Hauser. “We wish him all the best for the future.”
A winning combination for the 2011 World Superbike Championship? We think so.
Source: BMW Motorrad; Photo: Alstare Suzuki