| From Yamaha Racing|
Noriyuki Haga and Andrew Pitt will race for the Yamaha Motor Italia squad in the 2006 Superbike World Championship, fulfilling the team's desire to retain the services of both its riders from the 2005 campaign.
Both men played an important role in developing Yamaha's YZF-R1 in its first year of world superbike competition with Japanese ace Haga recording 10 podium finishes, including two wins, on his way to third place in the championship. Australian Pitt ended the year eighth in the standings with a best result of fourth in the opening race of the season in Qatar.
The Yamaha Motor Italia squad will again benefit from the official backing of Yamaha Motor Europe and for 2006 will use the updated YZF-R1 as the base for their world superbike contender. Preparations for the new season have already begun, with the first test of the 2006 season due to take place in Valencia on 14-15 November.
"I wanted to stay with Yamaha as we ended the year very strongly and I am very pleased that we have been able to agree terms. We had a good first year together and it would have been a shame not to take advantage of all the development work we carried out. Yamaha knows what it has to do to make the bike into a championship winner and it was important for me to know that I have the support needed for 2006. We came close to winning the title in 2000 and my motivation to become champion is still as strong as it ever was. Becoming world superbike champion is the goal I still have to achieve and I believe that Yamaha can give me what it takes to turn this dream into reality."
"When I signed for last year we always knew that it would be 2006 before we could really see the benefits of our work, therefore I'm delighted to continue with the team and hopefully take advantage of the hard work we put in last year. I enjoy working with this team and we've seen that the bike can be a winner. We know what we have to do to take it to the next level and with a year's experience of the class, the bike and the Pirelli tyres I feel that I can show my true ability next year."
Laurens Klein Koerkamp - Racing Manager, Yamaha Motor Europe
"We were quite late in starting this project last year and I said that our objective would be to develop the bike and put ourselves in a situation where we were winning races by the end of the year. By the middle of the season we were well on track, and we have shown that we can compete with the best in the class. For 2006 we can take advantage of our year's knowledge. We now have base settings for each circuit we race on, a year's development work behind us and some chassis improvements from the new YZF-R1. The team will again be run by Massimo Meregalli and working with Andrew and Noriyuki gives us great stability. Our learning year is over and we now know exactly what is required to challenge for the title. It will not be easy, but ultimately it is our goal for 2006."
Haga And Pitt Continue With Yamaha Motor Italia In 2006 () 11/08 07:59 AM
The views and opinions expressed in these pages are strictly those of the authors and cannot be taken to represent the views and opinions of Formula Xtreme Promotions Pty Ltd or the Australasian Superbike Company Pty Ltd (Ausco).