Noriyuki Haga has declared himself happy with his start to the 2010 World Superbike season after triumphing against the adversity of a low grid position, a rebuilt bike and an injury to finish third and fifth at Phillip Island.
Already facing a tough task to launch a victory challenge from the third row of the grid, Haga's cause was further hampered when he was involved in a mammoth accident during warm-up, just two hours before the start of the first race.
Prompting a swift rebuild of his race bike, Haga would reward his Ducati Xerox team with a run to third position in the first race, the 2009 runner-up getting a great start before defying arm-pump to challenge Leon Haslam and Michel Fabrizio for victory.
“My result in race one was really good as far as I'm concerned as I had had a crash during the warm-up and suffered from a bit of arm-pump during the race,” he said. “I was confident that I could make a good start from tenth position and I did so and then I tried to keep up with Michel and Leon but my arm led me to make a few small mistakes.
A similar result beckoned in race two following another quick getaway, but while Haga initially ran third, his physical condition began to wane and he would eventually fall back to fifth. Nonetheless, given the circumstances of his dismal start to the day, he was otherwise happy with his results.
“In the second race my arm played up more and it became harder to brake, I felt very tired physically. But all in all, with regard to the classification and bearing in mind this morning's accident, it didn't go too badly; I finished third and fifth and we take home some good points.”