MCE British Superbike star Leon Haslam will make his JG Speedfit Kawasaki debut on Tuesday at Jerez as he shares pitlane with his ex-World Superbike colleagues at the Spanish track for the first two days of 2016 testing.
Haslam, along with James Ellison, will ride with the factory Kawasakis of Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes plus the Ten Kate Hondas, Pata Yamahas and Milwaukee BMWs which will also make their debuts.
The Derby rider has just spent two weeks training with close friend Sam Lowes in Girona so he is ready for the new season and, more importantly, to get to grips with a new bike so early in the year.
“These two weeks we have just done in Spain kickstarted the training for the year. Usually it would begin in November but the BSB season doesn’t start for a while so we began in the New Year,” said Haslam, speaking to bikesportnews.com. “We did a mix of motocross, cycling and gym stuff so we’re bike fit and to drop a bit of poundage after Christmas.
“It’s a new challenge for me. I will be riding a new bike and a bike without all the electronic aids as well as a whole new team. We missed the test that James did at the end of last year, so I am intrigued to see where it is all at. We will do both days with the factory team and then move on to Aragon with them as well.
“It will be a case of getting used to the bike. Jonathan and Tom will be the benchmark, they have done a lot of laps around both those tracks. This sort of testing relies on track conditions but they are a good target, as well as James who has done competitive times. My thing is to get used to the bike, having no electronics and using Showa suspension.”
Haslam will re-unite with ‘Desmo’ Dave Allenby with whom he worked at GSE Racing. Allenby took a year out of bike racing in 2015 to work at McLaren F1 but comes back to BSB as Haslam’s crew chief.
Bikesportnews.com will bring you all the griff from Jerez, starting Tuesday morning. Or maybe tomorrow night if we’re not a bit tired. It’s going to be a long day…