Carole Nash is proud to sponsor former World and British superbike runner-up Leon Haslam. Known as ‘Pocket Rocket’, Leon is the son of road-racing legend ‘Rocket’ Ron Haslam, and enjoyed another strong year in 2016.
Name: Leon Lloyd Haslam
Date of birth: 31st May 1983
Birthplace: Smalley, Derbyshire
Bike: Kawasaki ZX-10R
Race number: 91
Team: JG Speedfit Kawasaki
Family: Married to Olivia; father to Ava and Max.
Leon has been a familiar face on the motorcycle racing circuit since he was a baby, often accompanying his family to watch his dad compete. It wasn't long before he was in the saddle himself and quickly showed he had inherited the family talent.
In 1995 and 1996, Leon was crowned the National Youth Motocross champion before winning the title of MCN Young Rider of the Year in 1998. By 2000 he had advanced into international racing with the Italjet team on its return to the 125cc world championship.
In 2001, racing a privateer Honda NSR500V, he became the youngest rider ever to compete in the series and claimed the 'rookie of the year' crown in 2004, riding for the Renegade Ducati team.
He returned to the British Supersport Championship for a four-year spell between 2005-2008, before securing a return to World Superbikes in 2009 with the Stiggy Honda team.
A run of impressive results for Stiggy led to him joining Alstare Suzuki in 2010. That same season, he achieved his first WSBK pole at Phillip Island, going on to win the race – his first WSBK victory – by just 0.004 seconds, the closest finish ever recorded.
After voicing his frustration at an alleged lack of resources from Suzuki, Leon joined the BMW team for the 2011 WSBK season. He moved to Team Pata Honda in 2013 alongside another Carole Nash sponsor, Jonny Rea.
In 2013 and 2014 Leon won the prestigious Coke Zero Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race.
After a disappointing 2014, attributed to injuries and mechanical issues, Leon signed for the Aprilia Red Devils Roma Team in 2015, alongside Spanish team mate Jordi Torres. He finished the season in fourth place, before returning to British Superbike racing for 2016, riding a Kawasaki ZX-10R for the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team. “I have unfinished business,” he said.
With two races remaining, he is currently in second place in the 2016 British Superbike Championship. Leon has spent all summer battling with Shane Byrne for this year’s title. He has won at Oulton Park, Brands Hatch, Knockhill, Cadwell Park and Assen.
We’ll certainly be cheering him on in this year’s final meet at Brands Hatch on 16 October!
- 2015 - 4th World Superbike - Aprilia
- 2014 - 7th World Superbike - Honda
- 2013 - 13th World Superbike - Honda
- 2012 - 8th World Superbike - BMW
- 2011 - 5th World Superbike - BMW
- 2010 - 2nd World Superbike - Suzuki
- 2009 - 6th World Superbike - Honda
- 2008 - 22nd World Superbike - Honda
- 2008 - 2nd British Superbike - Honda
- 2007 - 3rd British Superbike - Ducati
- 2006 - 2nd British Superbike - Ducati
- 2005 - 4th British Superbike - Ducati
- 2004 - 8th British Superbike - Ducati
- 2003 - 21st World Superbike - Ducati
Images courtesy of Oli Haslam