IN a shock turn of events Noriyuki Haga has been signed by Swan Yamaha for the 2012 British Superbike championship.
Haga had originally been rumoured to join the British series on a Ducati 1199 Panigale, but our source close to the deal has revealed that the Japanese star will return to Yamaha machinery for his move to the BSB championship.
Where this leaves Anthony West is unknown, as it appears that Haga's team have scooped the Yamaha deal from underneath the Australian.
In regards to Ian Hutchinson, Haga's appointment to the Swan Yamaha team is reminiscent to when Gregorio Lavilla took James Haydon's place at Airwaves Ducati in 2005. However, Hutchinson will remain with Swan Yamaha for the road racing season.
The Japanese rider has a long standing relationship with Yamaha, having taken success in the Japanese superbike championship before his debut on the World Superbike stage in 1998.
Click here for the 2012 British Superbikes calendar