Haslam to stay with Pata Honda for 2014 season

Leon Haslam
Leon Haslam

The Pata Honda World Superbike team has announced that it will retain the same rider line-up of Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam heading into the 2014 world championship season.

Smalley rider Leon Haslam joined the team for the 2013 season, which has unfortunately been affected by a broken leg he sustained at Assen in the Netherlands in April.

Haslam, 30, has contested 155 World Superbike championship races, a third of which have been on Honda’s CBR machine. He has achieved a total of three race wins and 28 podium finishes since his first SBK race in 2003, and he finished as runner-up in the series in 2010.

He explained: “I’m very happy to have another go at it, really!

“This season has been pretty non-existent with the injury and the big learning curve we’ve had with the new electronics. So I’m excited to get back to full fitness and to have good go with the bike and see if we can turn the potential into success.

“We’ve made some really good steps recently but that’s been combined with some bad luck this year.

“Hopefully, that’s all out of the way now and we can keep making progress in the last few races and over winter testing. The Haslam link to Honda has been strong for many years and it was fantastic to win the Suzuka 8-hour this year. Hopefully we can go back and defend that next year, and I can’t wait to go into the next World Superbike season with the same bike, the same guys and have a proper go at it.”

Carlo Fiorani, racing operations manager for Honda Motor Europe, said: “I do not think it is a secret that both Jonathan and Leon had some other options to consider, so we are delighted we will be working with them again. We believe that there is a great level of mutual respect and we know that we have two fully-motivated riders.”