So Haga's contract officially expired almost a week ago--which was the event that was supposed to trigger the announcement that Ben was going to ride for Renegade--and still no official announcement. Obviously, with Kurtis slotting back in at Erion, BBoz's only real options for a competitive '05 roadracing ride appear to lie outside the US, but d*mn it's getting late.
I received the Yamaha Insider magazine, and they have a special section devoted to past Superbike stars and they mention Nori Haga and allude to him possibly coming back in 2005. This is the official Yamaha magazine, too.
Yeah, the Haga-to-Yamaha move pretty much has been an undisputed, "unofficial" fact for some time now--unlike the differing reports on where Ben will land for '05. However, as I mentioned, of those differing reports, only Renegade appears to remain. Given that Haga's plans to leave Renegade were known well in advance, the team had plenty of time to pursue talks with both BBoz and Franki Chili--and even announced their intentions to do so publicly. Frankie recently signed with Klaffi to race a CBR, the bell is about to ring for closing time, and it appears that Renegade and Ben are the only 2 in the joint who haven't hooked up (doubtless, an absolute first for Ben :laugh, but still no word. /wwwthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif
Well, crash.net claims exclusive confirmation from Renengade team owner Mark Griffiths that Ben signed a 2 year deal with the team on Dec 23 to ride a Honda in a one man team. Of note: the team will relocate to Italy where Ben will be reunited with his factory L&M Ducati mechanics from his '01-'02 WSBK years. While Griffiths states support from Honda Europe, he doesn't say where the bike(s) are coming from--unlike an earlier statement he made that if he signed BBoz, the CBR race bikes would come straight from Japan. Also, he admits that, given the late start for the team, the team will have virtually no preseason test time. Looks like the music has stopped, and everybody's got themselves a seat after all.
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