Former World Superbike star Noriyuki Haga has made his much anticipated debut with Swan Yamaha during pre-season testing at Cartagena in Spain.
The motorcycling legend, who joins the British Superbike fray in 2012 following many successful years at international level, was out on track in Spain alongside team-mate Tommy Hill to develop an initial feel for the YZF-R1.
Making cautious start in effort to get acquainted with the bike and the circuit, Haga was nonetheless pleased to be out on track for the first time since the end of the 2011 WSBK season back in October.
"Since the first run I had a good sensation riding the R1,” he told the official BSB website. “During this morning I was concentrating on learning the track as it was new to me and I was also processing the map settings.
“Later in the afternoon I got a good feeling concerning the engine setting and tomorrow I will try and further my options. I am very happy and I want to thank Shaun Muir and his Swan Yamaha team for this opportunity to ride the R1."
Hill, meanwhile, endured a tough start to his 2012 campaign when his bike developed early issues and he then suffered a fall, but he was otherwise pleased with the initial impressions of the revised machine.
"It was a big first day back on track with the Swan Yamaha team. We had quite a few teething problems initially with the fuelling which held us back this morning but we were running a pretty good pace and making some good steps forward.
“It was hard early on as we spent time doing shorter runs so we couldn't string a run of laps together but with the improvements we started heading in the right direction. We had a good pace from the word go though and the times we were running were good.
“I am just sorry for the team that they had to work hard on the bike after the crash today. I am a little bit bruised up but otherwise I am fine and ready to get back out again tomorrow."