Following a galvanizing win at Valencia, it was a difficult fourth World Superbike round for Ducati Xerox rider Noriyuki Haga at the TT Circuit of Assen over the weekend.
In Race 1 Noriyuki got off the line in 13th and by mid-race found himself in a duel with the two Suzukis of Haslam and Guintoli. Over the 22 laps Noriyuki made up several places, to move from sixteenth at the end of lap two to tenth, the position he held from lap seventeen until the finish line.
In race 2 Noriyuki went wide at the first corner when he tried to pass riders by going around the outside. Feeling strong vibrations from the engine of his 1198, which only became worse during the first couple of laps, and realizing there was an engine problem, Noriyuki was forced to return to the box, thus retiring from the race.
Nori Haga says: "It was a very difficult day for us today," said Haga. "In Race 1 I didn’t make the good start that I needed to, and from the fourth row I had to push very hard even to make up one or two positions. In Race 2, I realized already during the warm-up lap that the engine vibrations I was feeling were maybe stronger than normal."
"I hoped it wouldn’t be a problem and started the race but it became worse as I rode and I knew there was something wrong technically. It’s very disappointing of course because this year, more than ever, it’s important to be consistent – there are so many of us fighting for the positions that count and it’s becoming more and more of a battle."