Crash.Net WSBK News
Haga prepares for title D-Day
20 October 2009
Noriyuki Haga is refusing to change his strategy ahead of the World Superbike Championship decider in Portugal as he bids to win the title that is currently missing from his illustrious portfolio.
Haga's reputation in World Superbikes is barely matched, the Japanese rider scoring 41 wins in 258 races to sit third on the all-time list.
Crucially though, unlike the riders surrounding him on that list, such as Carl Fogarty, Troy Bayliss and Troy Corser, Haga is yet to win a world title, despite finishing inside the top five overall for seven consecutive years.
However, Haga's high-profile switch to reigning champions Ducati Xerox in 2009 has invigorated his challenge, helping him to eight wins this season, his highest amount over a single year.
Enabling him to open up a ten point advantage over Ben Spies heading to the Portimao showdown, Noriyuki Haga insists he will not race for just points, maintaining that he will go all out for victory.
“Last year at Portimao didn't go to plan; I had some bad luck. This year I am in a better position and now everything comes down to this last event. My strategy won't be any different from normal; I always go out with the aim to win and I always give 100 per cent.
“I've finished second or third in the last five editions of the Superbike championship and so all I am missing is the title win, a title I hope to be able to bring home to Ducati and to Japan this weekend.”
Haga endured a torrid time at Portimao last season, retiring in the first race before finishing 14th in the second following a penalty for jumping the start.