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Since leaving the WSB championship series last year to race a factory Yamaha two-stroke in the 500 GP series, Noriyuki Haga has struggled (crashing as frequently as anyone) and longed for the more relaxed atmosphere of WSB.

Yamaha was thought to have taken Haga to the 500 GP series to ready him for next year's four-stroke MotoGP championship, but Haga's performance this year has tarnished his reputation as one of the top riders in the world. Now, strong rumors suggest that Haga is close to signing with one of the Italian manufacturers, Aprilia or Ducati, to return to the WSB championship next year. Haga's salary demands must be high, but Aprilia is clearly looking to win the WSB championship next year, after three years of development of its RSV Mille v-twin. Aprilia has found the sponsorship and funds necessary to hire top riders in the past, and don't be surprised if Haga is announced as an Aprilia team member soon.
 
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