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Haga, Fabrizio staying with Ducati

Live streaming of Imola race from Nitro Nori’s garage

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Sep. 21, 2009
Ducati has renewed the contracts of Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio to compete in the 2010 World Superbike Championship.

The contract rewards the two riders who have continued Ducati Xerox’s winning ways following the retirement of 2008 WSBK Champion Troy Bayliss. Haga sits second in the 2009 rider standings, only losing the lead at the Sept. 6 round in Germany’s Nurburgring. Fabrizio sits third in the standings, helping Ducati to the top of the manufacturers’ standings.

Haga is third all-time in career WSBK wins with 39, and third in total races, and a record 53 fastest laps. Haga is the winningest WSBK racer to have never won the championship, though he is thick in the hunt for the 2009 title, only 18 points behind Yamaha’s Ben Spies.

“I am very happy that this great team continues to believe in me! I thank Ducati, the team and everyone that was involved in making the decision,” says Haga. “I have a great relationship with my team and with Michel, and so I am more than happy to stay here in 2010. We don’t yet know how this year will end, but what is certain is that I will continue to do my best, as I do every weekend. Knowing that I have a job for next year will surely spur me on; I will give 200% in Imola this weekend, and then if that’s not enough I’ll redouble my efforts at Magny and Portimao!”

Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga will return for another year with Ducati Xerox.

Fabrizio has cooled off after a string of eight-consecutive podium results to trail Spies by 75 points. His title hopes may be fading but Fabrizio says he may change his strategy to help his teammate capture his elusive first title.

“At Imola I’m going to go on fighting my own battle, and then we’ll see how Nori and I are placed,” says Fabrizio. “I’ll perhaps change my strategy for the last two races, if need be, in order to assist Nori. Next year I won’t let anyone get ahead as quickly as Nori did this season and I’ll be doing all I can to be near the top of the standings right from the start of the championship.”

The 2009 WSBK season resumes Sept. 25-27 at Ducati’s home race in Imola, Italy. Ducati will provide live streaming video on its website, http://www.ducati.com/. A webcam will be set up in Haga’s garage between 2 pm and 5 pm local time on Superpole Saturday and race day Sunday.