CHAMPION RETURNS: HASLAM BACK IN BENNETTS BSB WITH LEE HARDY RACING KAWASAKI

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Former champion Leon Haslam will make his return to the Bennetts British Superbike Championship this year, after signing a new deal with Lee Hardy Racing to reunite with Kawasaki and bid for a second crown.

The ‘Pocket Rocket’ was well established as a title contender in the British Championship before he finally secured the title in 2018, winning 15 races with a further six podiums to seize the crown in emphatic style for ‘Team Green’.

Haslam now joins the team that pushed him hardest for the title four years ago, when Jake Dixon finished as runner-up. The former rivals join forces now though, launching a combined bid to take Kawasaki back to the top of Britain’s biggest motorsport championship.

The team will be unveiling their new look next month before Bennetts BSB fans will be able to see them in action at the first official pre-season test at Snetterton (26/27 March), ahead of the opening race event at Silverstone on Easter Weekend (15/16/17 April).

Haslam said: “I’m super excited to be back in the British Championship and also to be back with Kawasaki, especially with the link to my Kawasaki-backed Affinity Sports Academy team. It’s been a tough few years racing in the world championship, so it’s going to be great back in front of my home crowd once again!

“I am really confident in the team that Lee Hardy and everyone has put together for the season and the support that we have for this year. I don’t think I will have it as easy as I did in 2018, but at the same time I am looking forward to the challenge and I am really confident that we can get Kawasaki back to winning ways in the British Championship.”

Lee Hardy, Team Principal commented: “Following on from last year’s blockbuster BSB season I am delighted to announce the return of Leon Haslam to the series, joining Lee Hardy Racing. I am very excited to have signed an agreement with Leon as he has proven what an asset he can be to a team, and we look forward to building a strong partnership together. 

“We have both had amazing success with the Kawasaki brand. Leon last won the championship in 2018 with Kawasaki, and in that same year the Lee Hardy Racing team finished second to him, also on Kawasaki machinery. We both have forged a great alliance with Kawasaki and I see this as an incredible opportunity to fight for the championship again.”

Ross Burridge, Head of Marketing & Racing Department at Kawasaki UK concluded: “It was great being part of Leon’s success in 2018 and we as Kawasaki UK are excited to see him back in the Championship this year to hopefully challenge at the front of the field again.

“It’s a tough Championship and after some time away in World Superbikes it will take some time to settle back in, but I’m sure the combination of both Leon’s and the team’s experience will put them in a great position right off the bat at round one.”

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