British rider set to make WorldSBK return for the next two rounds with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing
Leon Haslam will be back in WorldSBK action this weekend, with a one event rider appearance on the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing ZX-10RR. Five time race winner Haslam will be racing for the first time since his stunning home podium as a wild-card at Donington Park last year.
“I'm really excited to be racing at Imola and also Donington Park,” Haslam told WorldSBK.com. “It's always nice to race in WorldSBK and I know that I can be competitive if I'm on the right package. In 2015 I won my last race as a full time rider in Qatar, and last year on the Puccetti I had a podium at Donington. I've always loved racing at Imola, it's a great circuit, so I'm really excited about this weekend.”
The regulation changes for 2018 have also left Haslam enthusiastic for his chances in Italy. With the Kawasaki's now all running to the same RPM limit he feels that the gap to the Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK machinery should be smaller, and will offer him an even better chance of adding to his 39 podiums in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship.
“The new regulations are also very positive for us because now the factory Kawasaki bikes will be racing at the same RPM as the Puccetti. Last year we were running at the same RPM limit as the 2018 regulations, so we should be closer to the front. I'm looking forward to the weekend and it's going to be special for all of my family. I'll be running in the livery that my dad used, and I'll be in the same leathers and helmets too! It's going to look great.”
The coming rounds will also offer Haslam an opportunity to put himself in the shop window for 2018. Getting back to WorldSBK is the goal, but it is not one that the 34 year old will make at any cost; it needs to be the right opportunity.
“I'd love to be back racing in the World Championship, but I'll only come back if I can win races. I know that I'm consistent enough to be getting fifth and sixth place finishes every week, but that doesn't excite me at all. I want to win races and fight for a championship, and for me to come back to WorldSBK it would have to be on a package that can do that.”
A strong performance at the next two rounds could make all the difference for Haslam, and you can keep up with his on track action with the WorldSBK VideoPass as he takes on the Pata Italian Round this weekend.