The Swan Yamaha team has today (Monday) confirmed that World Superbike sensation Noriyuki Haga will be completing their line-up for the 2012 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship as he permanently replaces the injured Ian Hutchinson for the forthcoming season.
Fans' favourite Haga is famous for his flamboyant riding style with much of his World Championship success in the past powered by Yamaha. Japanese ace Haga joins the MCE BSB Championship with the Swan Yamaha team following a record of 43 race wins in the World Championship, finishing runner-up in the title race on three occasions (2009, 2007, 2000) and securing third in the overall standings in an additional four seasons (2008, 2006, 2005, 2004).
Haga has already celebrated success on MCE BSB Championship circuits at World level including podium finishes at Brands Hatch, Donington Park, Silverstone and Assen as the Japanese contender prepares for his first full season in MCE BSB which gets underway at Brands Hatch on Easter weekend (6-9 April).
Haga said: "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."
Team Owner Shaun Muir said: "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 programme. 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."
Swan Marketing Manager Mark Alldred concluded: "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."