News 21 Apr 2010

WSBK: Haga has a 50 percent podium strike rate at Assen

Haga will be looking to build momentum this weekend at Assen.

Haga will be looking to build momentum this weekend at Assen.

The Ducati Xerox Team is confident it can continue its upswing in form in the Superbike World Championship’s fourth round at Assen in the Netherlands this weekend, hopeful of success after Noriyuki Haga’s victory at the most recent Valencia round.

Superbikes have raced at Assen every year since 1992 and 2010 marks Japanese veteran Haga’s 11th Superbike visit to Assen.

Haga has seen highs and lows since 1998, celebrating race wins and numerous podium finishes, yet also suffering several DNFs as a result of technical problems or heavy rain. He has a 50 percent success rate at the track, having been on the podium on ten occasions over 20 races – his best results were attained in 2009 on the 1198 when he scored a win and a second place finish.

“I was very happy to win at Valencia, my first win of the season and I will do my best to back it up with two great races at Assen,” Haga explained. “Last year went well for us here, actually better than ever before at this track, and at this point I am very aware that I need two similar results this season in order to close the gap. Every weekend is a battle with so many strong riders but I’m confident we can do a good job.”

Haga currently sits fourth in the series, lead by Suzuki’s Leon Haslam.

Ducati teammate Michel Fabrizio was on the Dutch podium in 2006, but hasn’t stepped up there again since then. Last year’s Assen event proved to be a tricky one for the Italian, who concluded the two races in ninth and fourth positions.

“Testing last week at Mugello was really useful and I’m feeling a lot more positive now that we seem to have found a solution to the brake problem,” Fabrizio said. “I’m confident that I can make a fresh start at Assen and be really competitive once more. I haven’t had much luck at this circuit so I’ll be doing my best to turn that around this time.”