Noriyuki Haga reminded his rivals that he remains a force at World Superbike Championship level after notching up a pair of excellent podium finishes at Imola.
The Japanese rider has been in fine form of late, taking a podium finish and nearly winning a race at the Nurburgring, but his run to second place in both WSBK races at Imola represents his best results of the year.
Even so, Haga – a 43-time race winner in World Superbikes - admits he is a little disappointed not to have been able to convert his pace into two victories, the Japanese rider ruing his tardy starts in both races.
”I'm really glad about this outcome achieved here, in front of my supporters,” said the PATA Aprilia rider. “I had a bad start in race one and Rea was great, closing every gap. During the second one I started off even worse and that prevented a possible victory. I'll try again next weekend when we'll be back on track in Magny Cours."
Haga's two second place finishes move him up to a new 2011 peak of eighth position.