Noriyuki Haga is planning to take it 'one weekend at a time' as he moves on to the fifth round of the World Superbike Championship at Monza with a commanding championship lead.
A win and a second place last time out at Assen has seen Haga pull out a 60 point lead over Ben Spies, who has shown comparable pace to the Ducati Xerox rider, but not the same consistency.
Nonetheless, Haga – who is the most successful rider at World Superbike not
to have won a title yet – is refusing to think about the possibility of claiming the crown with ten rounds and twenty races remaining.
“I am not thinking about the possibility of winning the championship, I just think about each race, taking one weekend at a time,” he said. “Of course at Monza I hope to win again, especially because it is my home circuit!”
Indeed, as a Milan resident, Haga considers Monza to be his, as well as the team's, home round. Furthermore, with a success rate of three wins in the last four races around the high-speed circuit, he is feeling confident.
“We did some testing at Monza recently and it was my first chance to rider the 1198 there. Although we had a few problems, I know these will be resolved for the race weekend. I am already really excited about the Monza race.”
Also the home round for team-mate Michel Fabrizio, he is feeling positive following an encouraging test there during the three-week gap between Valencia and Assen.
“I am in a hopeful mood ahead of Monza, the first of three “home” races so I want to do well of course. We've done some testing there and the results of those tests were very positive.
“The tyres that Pirelli provided us with performed well and we hope this is the case during the race weekend too. A year ago I finished Race 2 here in fifth place, let's say that this time around I hope to dramatically improve on that result in front of the Italian fans.”