New Alstare Suzuki rider Leon Haslam admits his hopes for the 2010 FIM World Superbike Championship season have been boosted by the performance of the bike during winter testing.
The 26-year-old Briton, who has moved to the team from the now defunct Stiggy Racing Honda squad, will team up with Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli as the Belgium-based team look to battle for the title after some trying times since Troy Corser took the title for them in 2005.
The Stiggy Racing Honda team has never the less found it self put in a difficult economical situation and has been forced to withdrawal from the Superbike and Supersport World Championships in 2010.
The decision has been made after an close evaluation of the teams poor economical situation which was created during this years expanded venture by participating in both Championship classes. A hugh financial project that was poorly executed by the teams investors as a result of failure to it’s financial commitments of the 2009 season.
Stiggy Racing Honda and Leon Haslam will part company at the conclusion of this year’s World Superbike Championship after a very successful 2009. After team owner Johan Stigefelt assembled a high quality team of engineers and Honda machinery the ability of Haslam complemented that with results beyond all expectation.
But it has been a tough debut year off the track in the World Superbike Championship for Stiggy Racing Honda and persistent financial issues led to the Stiggy operation being forced to end its relationship with financial backers S2 Racing.
John Hopkins, former MotoGP Rider, joins World Superbike on Stiggy Racing Honda.
John Hopkins will become the second American rider in this year’s Superbike World Championship when he lines up for the Stiggy Racing Honda team at the third round in Valencia on April 5th.
Hopkins, who was due to race for the Kawasaki MotoGP team this season before the change in the Japanese manufacturer’s plans at the start of the year, replaces Italian Roberto Rolfo alongside Leon Haslam in the Swedish-based team.