Noriyuki Haga returned to racing action last weekend as a wildcard in the Imola round of the World Superbike championship.
The legendary #41, who only had one day of testing at Mugello (on an unknown bike and with the 17in Pirelli tires) before heading to the Imola circuit, where he took two 15th place finishes and picked up two points during the round.
Apparently the 38-year old NitroNori misses the excitement of racing as he told British website crash.net that he would like to race again, and that would be talking with Andrea Grillini again to see if there could be any further opportunities for him.
“At the moment [there is] no other agreement yet [but] after the race weekend we will meet with the team for deciding any future opportunity,” said Haga.
Haga has already flown to Japan - and is now at Suzuka for first of a two day test with Yukio Kagayama and Kevin Schwantz to prepare for the Suzuka 8 Hours.
The Kagayama team is currently third on the timesheets, and about six tenths adrift of Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Team with Nobuatsu Aoki and Takuya Tsuda, and behind the MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO Honda team that is fielding Takumi Takahashi and Leon Haslam, before a heavy rain shower hindered some of the action.
Noriyuki Haga has started testing in preparation for his wildcard entry for the seventh round of the World Superbike championship, that takes place at Imola later this month.
‘NitroNorì’ who will be racing under the Grillini Dentalmatic SBK team banner, got his first taste of the 2012 version of the BMW S1000RR at the Mugello circuit last Saturday and was assisted by Feel Racing and Grillini’s squad.
No times were released but Haga did around 15 laps around the fast and highly technical circuit.
The Japanese rider also recently took part in the pre-event test for the 8 Hours of Suzuka, with team Kagayama where they finished second overall.
Haga will be returning to the Superbike stage and at Imola where he took a double podium in 2011 riding an Aprilia RSV4 for Pata Racing Team.
For more photos of Haga at Mugello hit this link.
Grillini Racing Team will be making a welcome return to World Superbikes after four years and have signed Mark Aitchison as their rider for the upcoming season.
“Atcho” will be riding the 2012 version of the BMW S1000RR that Andrea Grillini will be putting at his disposal and the team will be sponsored by clothing brand Sweet Years.
The Australian rider who spent a season in World Superstock and three seasons in World Supersport, debuted in World Superbikes in 2011 with Kawasaki’s Pedercini Team finishing 19th overall with a 9th place as his best result in race 2 at Imola.
Team Grillini is also working on a CRT that was seen during the post season tests at Valencia with rider Gianluca Nannelli and Federico Sandi. The Italian team however, has yet to be accepted in the 2012 CRT entry list.
Source | bikeracing.it