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.
Just yesterday we mentioned the rumor that Noriyuki Haga was looking for a wildcard entry to race in the 7th round of the World Superbike championship at Imola.
A statement released by today by Grillini Dentalmatic SBK team has officially confirmed that joining Vittorio Iannuzzo at Imola at the end of June will be in fact, the 38-year old Nitro Nori.
Haga will test the BMW S1000RR prepared by Feel Racing at Mugello mid June before heading to Imola for this one-off wildcard entry.
Team Manager Andrea Grillini said: “I am very happy to have reached an agreement with Haga and his management. For the Italian round Haga will be supported by a dedicated crew of technicians. I am sure that Haga’s return in Superbike is a great news for his fans and for the series itself”.
Haga left the World Superbike championship at the end of the 2011 after facing for privateer Aprilia Pata Racing team where he obtained two second places and two third places and finished 8th overall in the standings.
One of the rumors floating around the Donington paddock today - there isn’t much to do considering the terrible weather - is that Noriyuki Haga is working on a wildcard entry for the Imola round at the end of June.
The 38-year old ‘Nitro Nori’ who doesn’t have a ride this season after leaving British Superbikes at the end of 2012, is according to Italian gossip, already talking to team in order to ride a privateer BMW (Team Grillini) in the Italian event, and to prepare for the entry is expected to test at Mugello in the following days.
Haga will be racing in this year’s iconic Suzuka 8 Hours with Yukio Kagayama and Kevin Schwantz on a Suzuki GSX-R1000 equipped with Dunlop tires.
Kevin Schwantz’ shock return to racing for the 2013 Suzuka 8 Hours left many delighted and also flabergasted, wondering how Yukio Kagayama was able to convince revvin’ Kevin to come out of retirement and ride in one of the most iconic, but also gruelling endurance races there is, because Suzuka in July is physically punishing due to the heat and high humidity.
The 48-year-old, who clinched the 1993 World Championship aboard his #34 Lucky Strike RGV500 Suzuki, will be racing a GSX-R1000 in a three-rider Suzuki team set-up by Kagayama that also includes former MotoGP, WSB and BSB rider Noriyuki Haga.
In a team generated interview Kagayama explains how he organized the project and how he got Schwantz and Haga onboard for his ‘dream team’.
When did you talk to Kevin and Nori about this project?
“The project started in Summer 2012. I’d heard that Kevin always wanted to enter the Suzuka 8-Hour again but had some small problems doing so.”
What kind of problems?
“First, how to organise the team? Who would he get as a partner, what machine; and who would he get to be his team staff. Secondly, Kevin has a good partnership with Yoshimura, so if Kevin came back to the 8-Hour, naturally it should be with Yoshimura. Kevin has a good partnership with Dunlop in his racing-school in the USA, but Yoshimura uses Bridgestone tyres. So Kevin’s dream looked over, but I wanted Kevin to enter Suzuka as a racing rider, not just as a big guest for racing in Japan.”
After spending the last two weeks posting rumors that Max Biaggi would be making a sort of comeback, and in order they he would be racing at Monza as a wildcard, that he would become a Ducati test rider, and the latest from the Italian media is that he could developing Suzuki’s MotoGP bike, here’s the real comeback of combacks, former World champion and GP legend Kevin Schwantz, who will turn 49 in June, will be racing in the 2013 Suzuka 8 Hours.
After checking the calendar to make sure today is May 1st and not April 1st, here’s the news, Team Kagayama - owned by Yukio Kagayama officially announced that Schwantz will be the team’s third rider after previously confirming that Noriyuki Haga will also be part of the team. Kagayama’s dream team will be riding a Suzuki GSX-R1000 in the 36th annual iconic endurance race.
“Team KAGAYAMA will be racing at the Suzuka 8 Hours for the first time this year. In order to achieve results, I thought I needed Noriyuki and Kevin whom I both deeply respect, and negotiated with them. I am now happy to make this announcement of the Dream Team. I thank them both that they have accepted my offer. The motorcycle racing in Japan needs such big surprise! The last time I won at Suzuka 8 Hours was in 2007, and with the help of my teammates, I aim to win this year,” said Kagayama.
Before heading to Japan to take part in the 35th edition of the iconic Suzuka 8 Hours Noriyuki Haga will be racing in the second round of FIM Endurance World Championship at Losail, Qatar in the 8 Hours of Doha on June 9th.
NitroNori who currently races in the British Superbike Championship replacing injured Ian Hutchinson in Swan Yamaha and is 10th in the series, will be get to know his Monster Yamaha YART Team (ex Yamaha Austria Racing Team) prepared YZF-R1 ahead of the Suzuka race.
The three-time World Superbike runner-up (2000, 2007, 2009) and Suzuka 8 Hours winner (1996) will be fielded next to Gwen Giabbani, Steve Martin and Igor Jerman, while at Suzuki his team mates will be his own BSB team mate Tommy Hill and two-time champion and current leader of the All Japan Superbike series, Katsuyuki Nakasuga.
Following the recent announcement that Swan Yamaha’s reigning BSB champion Tommy Hill and Noriyuki Haga will be taking part in the 35th Edition of the Suzuka 8 Hours with the Monster Energy Yamaha YART team in July, there are now rumors floating around in Italy and at Assen that the Samurai of Slide, Nori Haga may be getting a wild card ride for the fifth round World Superbike championship at Donington Park in May.
Haga who is replacing injured Ian Hutchinson in the team, hasn’t had much luck so far in the British Superbike championship. The Japanese rider finished 13th in Race 1 and Race 2 was cancelled in the opening round at Brands Hatch and the second round at Thruxton Haga DNFd in the first race and finished 10th in Race 2.
A race on a well known track and in front of his still numerous World Superbike fans and seeing some friendly paddock faces could help galvanize NitroNori.
More info if the rumors come true.
The past rumors surrounding Noriyuki Haga’s switch to the British Superbike Championship and the latest, that he would be replacing injured Ian Hutchinson in Swan Yamaha have now been officially confirmed.
The Samurai of Slide failed to find a ride at World Superbike level after a lacklustre 2011 season with Pata Racing (despite finishing 8th with 4 podiums on the Aprilia RSV4), will now be joining reigning BSB champion Tommy Hill this season.
“It is a new challenge for me to race in BSB and I am now ready for the new season with Swan Yamaha,” said Haga. “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.”
Can anyone be as unlucky as Anthony West? The Australian rider lost his Speed Master MotoGP ride to Mattia Pasini when he couldn’t come up with the funding and now it looks like he’s lost another ride, but this time in British Superbikes to Noriyuki Haga.
Apparently West was on the verge of finding a ride in British Superbikes and it seemed he was to replace the recently injured Ian Hutchinson in Swan Yamaha, but rumors from the British press now have it that World Superbike drop out Haga-san could be taking up that vacancy.
Could this be why Haga, who is still updating his personal website has just recently changed the photo from his last ride on an Aprilia RSV4 to his old Yamaha R7?
Persistant rumors put the Samurai of Slide in a new team put together by DFX Corse (Daniele Carli’s team who fused together with Marco Borciani’s BRC in 2011) and back riding a Ducati 1198 or even retiring, while the latest coming from Italy where Haga resides most of the year, has him in negotiations with a high profile British Superbike team.
Evidently something is moving as the popular Japanese rider is upgrading his personal website, as you can tell from the image above and with the opening round of the World Superbike championship just a little more than a month off we won’t have to wait that long to find out where Haga will be going.