World SBK: Haslam’s Crew Chief… Blogs
Giacomo Guidotti is Leon Haslam’s crew chief and one of the most respected and experienced mechanics in road racing. He has worked for Team Suzuki Alstare since the end of 2005, having worked before for Aprilia both in WSBK and GP.
“If I didn’t do what I am doing now, I don’t know what I would be doing. Racing is in my DNA and I really cannot think of a life away from the track. My father used to do motocross and I got used to going racing at a very early age, so after that there was nothing else I wanted to do.
“I feel privileged and a bit lucky that I am doing a job I love and over the years I have worked with many great riders. I worked with Max Biaggi in GPs (Aprilia) and WSBK (Suzuki Alstare) and also worked twice with Troy Corser (with Aprilia and Suzuki in WSBK) and now I am working with Leon Haslam.”
“For me, Max and Troy are at the very top of their game and I enjoyed working with them. Leon is also tremendous to work with. He’s younger than Max or Troy, but he is a very thoughtful and focussed rider and one who gives great feedback to me and the team.”
“I was impressed the first time I met him. I watched the way he went about things and right from the start I knew that he could be a title challenger on our bike. He fitted in to the team straightaway and became one of the Alstare family.
“It was a bit of a dream winning the first race, but we had done a lot of work and testing over the winter months and all the hard work paid off.
“I have been with Alstare since the end of 2004 and since that time we have won the Superbike World Championship with Troy and came very close with Max. Leon has the ability to win the title for sure. Having his father Ron with us is a real help because he has so much experience. He goes out on the track and watches Leon and all the riders.”
“Sometimes he videos the action and then analyses the footage with Leon to see where time is being lost or where time can be made up. Leon is very good at understanding telemetry and explains his thoughts very well. Then it is up to us to interpret them and make the bike better.
“After our tremendous start to the season, recent race weekends have been a bit frustrating. That’s because we have not been able to get the new tyres to work well with our bike. If it was just us having problems, I would be a bit worried, but most of the other teams are in the same boat. I know it has not been an easy time for Leon, but he has not let his head drop at all and has just carried on working as hard as he can.”
“Some other riders might have given up, but he is very determined to solve this problem and get back to winning ways. Like many British riders, he has that grit and determination to succeed and that’s one of the things I like about him. For sure, we have a lot of work to do before Silverstone, but I am looking forward to it and helping Leon get back on the podium again.”