With his career with BMW ending after the final World Superbike race of the season at Magny-Cours on Sunday, Leon Haslam headed north to Assen yesterday, to try the Honda CBR1000RR for the first time with the Ten Kate team, having signed to race with the Dutch team for next season. After the test, the Honda World Superbike press office issued the following press release:
Leon Haslam returns to Honda in Assen test
Leon Haslam rode the Honda World Superbike Team’s CBR1000RR Fireblade in a shakedown test at Assen in the Netherlands yesterday, just three days after completing the 2012 World Superbike championship season at Magny-Cours in France.
The British rider sported the colour scheme of the 2013 road-going version of the CBR that was used by the team at Magny-Cours after being revealed at the Intermot motorcycle show in Cologne, Germany last week.
Haslam, 29, returns to Honda’s CBR machinery after a three-year absence to continue a strong family link to the Japanese manufacturer. With his own 250cc and 500cc GP experience, Haslam, from Derbyshire in the UK, has been racing in the World Superbike championship since 2009 and was runner-up in the 2010 series. He has amassed a total of 28 podium finishes, including three race wins.
No comments or lap times were available from the Assen test, which was primarily to adjust bars and pegs in order to get Haslam comfortable on the CBR. However, he will join new team-mate Jonathan Rea at two tests in Spain next month before a six-week SBK testing ban comes into force on 1 December.