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Old 01-09-2012, 03:32 PM   #78
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Joined: Oct 2004
Location: India Wharf
Oddometer: 10,169
The Sultan of Slide:

We all have VERY distinctive images of Nori Haga. He was a master such a short time ago. He should have beaten Ben Spies in 2009. But like the rest of his career on the world stage, shit happened... We all know that, yet he will always be our favorite.

Soup writes him off gently, but they still write him off. Thanks and no thanks to Dean. I'm not giving up that easily. A cut from Soup's write off of the Sultan:

/////.....One evening I walked through the Miller WSBK paddock on my way to the parking lot and in the darkness bumped into two people talking in the near pitch darkness. It was Ohlins suspension engineer Jon Cornwell and Haga, their faces ten inches apart. Haga stood, shoulders slumped, looking at the ground, while Cornwell tried to lift his sagging sails by reminding him who he was, saying, "Come on, you're Nori Haga for God's sake, you can do this...". Later that year, at Imola, I walked to the grid for the final race of the year. I arrived early but found Nori Haga in his leathers laying against the pit wall, looking exhausted and moving like an old man suffering from arthritis. While he waited for the race to start, he rubbed various body parts and spoke with his crew about how sore he felt.

In the end Haga wasn't the Haga that collectively blew the world right out of their shoes in 1998, and maybe the expectation that he should be is unreasonable. He had been dulled from the level of true racing superhero to being just another WSBK rider. Even after the swagger was gone and his tank clearly emptying, Haga was still very fast—he nearly won the WSBK title in 2009.

Straight ahead and faster -Bo Weaver 1970
"There I was..." -Griffin Niner Three Hotel
"One day closer to a parade..." Jonny Gomes, spring training 2013

Pantah screwed with this post 01-09-2012 at 03:49 PM
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