Noriyuki Haga is headed for the British Superbike Championship after signing on with the Swan Yamaha team to replace the injured Ian Hutchinson.

Haga had been a mainstay on the World Superbike circuit for over a decade but after being unable to find a team for this season, the 36-year-old veteran will be plying his trade in the U.K. Haga will ride the Yamaha R1 alongside teammate and defending BSB Champion Tommy Hill.

“It is a new challenge for me to race in BSB and I am now ready for the new season with Swan Yamaha,” says Haga. “I feel that after many years in the same series this will be a kind of restart to my racing career.”

Haga has been one of the top WSBK racers in the 21st century. In his first eight seasons in the series, Haga finished second overall in the championship three times, third overall four times and fourth overall once. The last two seasons have been disappointing, relative to his body of work, finishing sixth overall in 2010 and eighth in 2011.

With 43 career wins, Haga sits third all-time in WSBK victories behind Carl Fogarty and Troy Bayliss. Haga is also second overall in WSBK podium finishes at 116 behind Troy Corser. Despite his accomplishments, Haga holds the unfortunate distinction of being the most WSBK wins of any rider who has not won the championship.

[Source: Swan Yamaha, Yamaha]

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