The rumors are true, Noriyuki Haga is headed to Ducati for the 2009 World Superbike Championship.
The Ducati Xerox Team has made a decision with regard to the 2009 season of competition in the World Superbike Championship. In recent weeks Ducati Corse has reached an agreement with Noriyuki Haga who will join the Ducati Xerox Team in 2009. The thirty-three year old Japanese rider from Nagoya will be team-mate to the Italian rider Michel Fabrizio who will remain with the team for a second consecutive season.
"I am very proud to be able to welcome Noriyuki", commented Davide Tardozzi, Ducati Corse's Superbike Team Manager. "We are convinced he is one of the strongest and best loved of the Superbike riders, a talented and courageous man. He is a rider that has proved that he never gives up, in the true spirit of Ducati, and is a rider with the credentials to fill the place that Troy Bayliss vacates. Haga will, for the first time, ride a factory Ducati, and I am certain that he will win over the Ducatisti fans and bring great satisfaction. We are very proud to have him in next year's squad together with Michel. They are two fantastic riders and we will do everything to ensure that they can achieve the great results that everyone hopes are possible."