Leon Haslam - The Team
Leon Haslam's return to Honda and the multi world title winning-Ten Kate squad for 2013 could have happened at any time in the past four years but circumstances prevented the move.
After a difficult 2012 season which saw the demise of his BMW team, Haslam was immediately on the pace aboard the Ten Kate Honda in an opening day familiarisation test at Assen in early October, reigniting his motivation for the new challenge ahead.
Haslam performed beyond expectation in 2009 with the privateer Stiggy Team, taking sixth place in the final World Superbike Championship points standings, including four podium finishes. Then, in 2010, he recorded three wins, 14 podium finishes and runner-up place aboard the Alstare Suzuki.
Recognised by many factory teams as a potential race winner, there was an inevitability about Haslam's move from privateer to factory rider status for 2010 and he once more exceeded expectation.
From pole position and victory in the opening Australian round Haslam went on to score 14 podium finishes in the 13 rounds and finished second in the World Championship.
After Suzuki reduced its commitment the Alstare Team owner Francis Batta kindly offered to release Leon from his agreement should a more competitive opportunity be available for 2011.
Haslam's BMW career began with fifth place in the 2011 World Superbike Championship, scoring a podium finish with third place in his debut race in Australia before taking further podium finishes at Monza and Magny-Cours.
Having given BMW its best ever finish with fifth place in the Championship there were high hopes of Haslam battling for a top three World Championship finish in 2012.
A tough, demanidng and incident-packed 2012 began with Haslam breaking his leg during testing in Australia, six days before the opening races of the year but, typically, he under went surgery and raced to a gritty fifth place at Phillip Island.
A year full fraught with technical issues, crashed and a difficult time in a team with an uncertain future left Haslam languishing in eighth place in the final points standings.