Confirming rumors long held in the WorldSBK paddock, Leon Haslam will not be with the Kawasaki Racing Team in the WorldSBK paddock next year. Though it hasn’t been announced yet, Alex Lowes is expected to take Haslam’s seat.
Haslam’s role in the KRT squad came after his British Superbike Championship win in 2018, and while this year’s season showed mixed results for the British rider (including a win at the Suzuka 8-Hours), the opportunity to add another top Superbike talent alongside Jonathan Rea was too much of an allure for Team Green.
In total, Haslam scored six podiums this year in WorldSBK, and currently sits sixth in the WorldSBK Championship.
With one of the best bikes on the grid though, there have been musings that Haslam’s results should have been higher, and thus there is cause for his departure from the factory team.
“A primary target for 2019 was for Leon to experience the KRT way of working and to take his race rhythm and performance to a new level with goals like competing at Suzuka as a tempting prospect,” said Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager.
“Winning the 2019 8 Hours race with Jonathan Rea after a 25 year gap for Kawasaki was certainly an incredible achievement alongside regular top five placings in WorldSBK including several podium visits.”
“To achieve all of this despite being away from WorldSBK for three years is testament to Leon’s skill as a rider – especially as he has endured injuries this year, many of which have not been apparent and have certainly not hindered his hunger for success.”
“It is my hope that Leon can stay within the Kawasaki family for 2020 and use his KRT experience on factory Ninja machinery to achieve yet more success as well as competing again at the Suzuka 8-Hours. Everyone at KRT wishes Leon well for the future.”
It’s not clear yet where the 2020 season will take Leon Haslam, though we would bet it will be on green machinery. As for his replacement, we expect an announcement on the future for Alex Lowes in short course.
Source: Kawasaki Racing Team