Nori Haga Report
Racing World Superbikes at Portimao has proven to be difficult for Ducati Xerox rider Noriyuki Haga, who fight hard for SBK points, having started both races from the fifth row of the grid.
Whereas just six months ago the Japanese motorcycle racer was fighting head to head for the title with Ben Spies in Portugal, this time round the two races brought identical but much less positive results, two eighth place finishes.
Despite this turn around in form and consequential low score, Nori Haga remains upbeat for the next scheduled Superbike round to take place in Spain.
"I tried to push as hard as possible but by the last five laps or so I was lacking rear grip and this meant that my traction was very much affected," explained Haga.
"The second race was quite similar, the tyre performed better but I had a hard time getting past Guintoli, and again finished eighth. I apologize to the team, the fans and the sponsors for my poor results but at least I was able to make up a few positions and take some points."
"Now we look to start challenging for the podium every weekend from Valencia onwards. The important thing is not to crash, and to take as many points as possible each race. Biaggi and Haslam have demonstrated their strength both here and at Phillip Island and we hope we can be back up there on the podium at Valencia."
Haga with his race 1 finish in 8th and again his race 2 finish in 8th sits 5th overall in the 2010 World Superbike Championship.
WSBK Riders Points
1. Haslam (Suzuki) 85; 2. Biaggi (Aprilia) 69; 3. Checa (Ducati) 60; 4. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) 46; 5. Haga (Ducati Xerox) 43; 6. Rea (Honda) 39; 7. Guintoli (Suzuki) 33; 8. Camier (Aprilia) 32.