Haga replaces Farmer in BSB

Haga steps in to cover for injured Farmer and has good form at Assen

Japanese motorcycle racer Noriyuki Haga will become team-mates along side Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne in the final three showdown rounds of the 2013 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship after signing with Paul Bird Motorsport.

The former triple World Superbike runner-up will replace Northern Ireland’s Keith Farmer in the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team starting at Assen this weekend.

PBM Team Owner Paul Bird said: “I have always admired Nori throughout his career and it’s fair to say he’s one of my heroes so I’m delighted to have the chance to work with him.

“He’s proven throughout his career that he’s a great rider and showed at the tracks he knew last year that he could still be very competitive.

“He was on pole position at Assen last year and rode a couple of brilliant races so despite not doing a lot of racing this year, he’ll be very strong. He loves all three Showdown tracks and if he can also help Shakey’s bid for the title, all well and good.”

The 38-year-old contested the 2012 British Superbike Championship for the first time with Swan Yamaha and managed to finish eighth in the Championship regardless of breaking his collarbone at Cadwell Park.

However, Haga proved he still had the pace in July this year after he finished in third place at the Suzuka 8-Hours with fellow Japenese rider Yukio Kagayama and American GP legend Kevin Schwantz.

‘Nitro Nori’ will take part in a test on the Rapid Solicitors ZX-10R Kawasaki at Snetterton before heading to Assen later on this week.