Your WSBK Rider of the Year: 10th

You vote Noriyuki Haga tenth in's WSBK Rider of the Year poll
Top 10 WSBK Riders of the Year:
10. Noriyuki Haga

Nationality: Japanese
Team: PATA Aprilia
Bike: Aprilia RSV-4
Wins: 0
Podiums: 4
Championship points: 176
Championship position: 8th

Following a forgettable 2010 season on the Ducati Xerox, Noriyuki Haga dodged rumours of retirement by continuing in 2011 with new machinery, a new team and new expectations.

A perennial fan favourite, though PATA Racing – an amalgamation of BRC Racing and DFX Corse – was very privateer on paper, the chance to run the 2010 title-winning Aprilia RSV-4 gave Haga the chance to show his very best in lower pressure surroundings.

Even so, Haga's transition to the compact bike wasn't exactly a seamless one, his form during the opening half of the year fluctuating notably, particularly in qualifying. A third place at Misano and a fourth at Monza showed flashes of excellence, but they were negated by the odd failure to finish inside the points elsewhere.

Eventually, Haga became better acquainted with the machine, bursting into form during the latter stages of the season when he finished on the podium at the Nurburgring, before following it up with two second place finishes at Imola. Haga should have been celebrating a race win too had he not fallen from a sizeable lead at the rain-lashed Nurburgring race.

Indeed, though he was more mid-field than front runner in 2011, such results served as a reminder to what Haga is capable of at WSBK level and showed he is not yet done with Superbike racing as yet.

Even so, it remains to be seen where Haga will land in 2012, the Japanese rider keeping a very low profile as we head into the off-season. With no word on whether PATA will continue, at the very worst, it would be a shame to see one of World Superbikes' most popular personalities forced into hiatus without so much as a proper goodbye...

Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2008: 2nd
Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2009: 2nd
Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2010: 11th

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Haga, Portuguese WSBK 2011
Ducati pack up for long haul, Misano WSBK 2017
Aprilia pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Aprilia pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati Panigale engine, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati Panigale bikes, Misano WSBK 2017
Xavi Fores, Barni Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Eugene Laverty, Milwaukee Aprilia [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Lorenzo Savadori, Milwaukee Aprilia [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Marco Melandri, Racing Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Marco Melandri, Racing Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Chaz Davies, Racing Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Chaz Davies, Ducati [Credit: Ducati Media]
Ducati team, Race1, Imola WSBK 2017

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Duke1098 - Unregistered

December 05, 2011 7:16 PM

Been a huge haga fan since he came on the wsbk scene, best rider never to have got the championship,Please Please let him be back 2012 on a decent bike, NO #41 on the grid will be a very sad day

rob - Unregistered

December 05, 2011 6:35 PM

We all know what nori can do. But has everybody forgot what happend in Japan just as the season was about to start. Going to a new taem and machine is hard. However what happend in Japan must have been nearly impossible to deal with. I say well done Nori you delt with it. You are in my eyes the champ and have lots left in you. somebody give this man a break.

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