Marinelli expects Haga to come back stronger

New Ducati Xerox project leader Ernesto Marinelli expects Noriyuki Haga to be the rider to beat in 2010 following his tight title loss to Ben Spies this year
Ducati Xerox's new project leader, Ernesto Marinelli, is confident Noriyuki Haga's narrow title defeat at the hands of Ben Spies this season will make him even more determined to succeed in 2010.

Having worked as chief engineer and technical director for the multiple champions, Marinelli was recently announced as a replacement for Davide Tardozzi, who resigned from his post last month.

Coming after Haga was prevented from winning a long-awaited first World Superbike title at the Portimao following a final round showdown, Marinelli admits the Japanese rider took the loss hard, but insists both he and Michel Fabrizio will bounce back in 2010.

"Obviously not very well,” he told the WSBK website. “He was a bit like a child being given an ice-cream and someone else comes and takes it away from him. But he's mentally very strong and is ready to try again, with more determination this time.

"Michel has matured a lot in the last two years with us and I think the time has come for him to show all of his potential. I'm happy to have two riders of the calibre of Michel and Nori.”

Despite the change at the top, Marinelli is keen to maintain continuity within the team and is not planning any structural changes for the 2010 season.

"It [the team] will remain the same to guarantee continuity. The only thing that will change will be the arrival of someone new who will take my place as Haga's track engineer.”

Tagged as: Haga , superbikes , Ben Spies , marinelli

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DUH! - Unregistered

November 16, 2009 3:33 PM

Without Ben it would have easily been Nori's year. Yeah there were some other strong showings from Max, Fab, Johnny and few others - but none with the consistency of Ben and Nori. If Nori doesn't win it this year, he'd better retire before he kills himself trying. As clearly demonstrated, he'll chuck it with the best of them if pushed too hard. I like the guy for sure and on his day he's brilliant. But backing off for strategic purposes is not in his repertoise. Ben won the title by using ALL the tools in the shed. Nori, take note.

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