Recent Hardware: Seven overall premier class podium finishes in World Superbike competition, including six consecutive overall podiums from 2004-’09.
As celebrity as it gets on the World Superbike tour, Noriyuki Haga’s flamboyant riding style is as successful as it is fun to watch. Given that the Japanese speedster had endeared himself to road racing fans all over the world, more so than any other Japanese racer through the past decade.
Haga’s cult status in Japan is the stuff of legend, running primarily with the home country Yamaha program, along with short stints on Ducati and Aprilia teams where Haga scored a combined 43 race wins during his reign on the WSB podium. 2012 finds Haga contesting his first full season on the British Superbike Championships (BSB) tour, a popular series where Haga has met with success in the past on such legendary circuits as Brands Hatch, Donington Park, Silverstone and the Assen TT.
Running nicknames like Nitro Nori and the Samurai of Slide, Haga first hit the global road racing radar in 1996 with a win on his hometown track at the Suzuka 8 Hours, combining with now Monster Energy teammate Colin Edwards. He’d follow that with the 1997 Japanese Championship in dominant fashion, then taking his craft global the following season, battling the likes of Troy Bayliss, Max Biaggi, Troy Corser, James Toseland and Monster Energy’s MotoGP racers Ben Spies and Edwards. A few runs at MotoGP competition (1998 & ’01 in the 500cc class, ’03 on MotoGP bikes) yielded top 15 results, after which Haga chose to focus on WSB competition, becoming one of the most decorated WSB racers throughout the 2000s.