2012 British Superbike
Following a year on the Pata Aprilia RSV4 in World Superbike, “Nitro” Noriyuki Haga was left without a ride for 2012.
There were rumors circulating of the Japanese rider competing in the British Superbike Championship, but nothing was confirmed.
That was until Monday when Swan Yamaha confirmed that Haga will complete its lineup for the 2012 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship; Haga will permanently replace the injured Ian Hutchinson, who broke his leg while rehearsing for the Carole Nash Live Motorcycle show in the UK last week.
Haga, who has a record of 43 wins in the World Superbike Championship, joins the reigning BSB Champion Tommy Hill for 2012. While competing in World Superbike, Haga finished runner-up three times (2009, 2007, 2000) and secured third overall in an additional four seasons (2008, 2006, 2005, 2004).
And while competing on the world level, Haga finished on the podium on many of the tracks featured on the 2012 BSB schedule, including Brands Hatch, Donington Park, Silverstone and Assen. The 2012 British Superbike Championship begins Easter Weekend, April 6 -9.
Noriyuki Haga (Swan Yamaha YZF-R1 British Superbike) says: “It is a new challenge for me to race in BSB and I am now ready for the new season with Swan Yamaha. 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.”
Shaun Muir (Swan Yamaha Team Owner) says: “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 program.
“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.”
Mark Alldred (Swan Marketing Manager) says: “We are thrilled to confirm the full team line up for the 2012 season after Ian’s unfortunate injury. We are delighted to welcome Noriyuki Haga to the team at this late stage. He has a fantastic pedigree at the highest level and will be a real contender for the championship this year. We have a great rider line-up at Swan Yamaha having signed two of the top riders in the championship. We wish them both the best of luck for the forthcoming season.”