Noriyuki Haga is looking forward to a fresh start after signing to ride for the Swan Yamaha team in the 2012 British Superbike Championship. The Japanese rider has had an impressive career at world level, finishing runner-up on three occasions and winning 43 races, and will now make his debut in BSB alongside defending champion Tommy Hill.
Haga's move comes at the expense of Ian Hutchinson, who lost his ride with the team after breaking his left leg while rehearsing for an appearance at the Carole Nash MCN Motorcycle show in London, and “Nitro Nori” will begin testing soon.
“It is a new challenge for me to race in BSB and I am now ready for the new season with Swan Yamaha”, he commented. “I feel that after many years in the same series this will be a kind of restart to my racing career. BSB has grown a lot and I have big support from the fans in the UK, so I liked the idea of racing in the Championship. It will also be a return to Yamaha, where I spent so many years taking many wins and now I feel like I am going back to my family. I have won races with Yamaha before in the World Championship and now I hope that we can do it again in BSB. I don’t know several circuits in England and the BSB Championship but I will do my best to get results this year for the fans, myself and for Yamaha. We will start testing soon and I am very excited to get back on track as we have big ambitions for this season. Finally I hope that Ian Hutchinson can recover soon from his injury.”
Team Owner Shaun Muir spared a thought for the luckless Hutchinson but is nevertheless delighted to have secured Haga's services for the new season.
“It was a difficult situation for the Swan Yamaha team when Ian (Hutchinson) was sidelined with just four weeks remaining before we begin our pre-season testing programme. We then had to set out to find a replacement rider and the result for us could not have been better. We are absolutely delighted that Noriyuki will be joining us and we are now looking forward to welcoming him into the team. Noriyuki has such vast experience of racing a Superbike and during his career has always had a strong partnership with Yamaha and we are happy that we can continue that relationship this year. The Swan Yamaha team won the title last season and Noriyuki is really ready for the challenge of BSB and is coming to race here to win.”