Swan Yamaha get their 2012 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship underway this week as the team travel to Spain to begin their pre-season testing campaign with a shakedown test at Cartagena.
Reigning champion Tommy Hill is preparing for his title defence alongside Noriyuki Haga who makes his much anticipated debut with the team.
The team have been working hard since winning a maiden title at the end of last season in preparation for the forthcoming tests as they run the Swan Yamahas for the first time since the introduction of the new technical regulation for 2012.
Hill returns to defend the number one plate and is relishing the chance to return to the track. The three-day test at Cartagena will be the first opportunity for Japanese ace Haga to work with the team as he prepares to make his return to Yamaha.
Hill said: “Every year it always seems like a long wait until we go pre-season testing and it really can’t come soon enough as I just want to get back out again on the Swan Yamaha. I have been catching up with the team regularly and I know they have been pretty busy getting everything ready for this test.
“We already have a ballpark of where we can start and we have a good idea on the chassis from last season. With the new regulations I think we can have a play around with some different things in Spain and also get ourselves dialled in to the new Motec system.
“We want to come away from these tests with some good feedback so we are all set for Brands Hatch.
"When we went to Spain last year we left the track after setting the benchmark; we know it is going to be different for everyone this year because of the rule changes but at least we have something to compare to.
"It will be good to get this shakedown test completed as I have been looking forward to riding again since the end of last year!”
Haga said: "Firstly I want to say thank you to Swan Yamaha. I am really happy to join the team and I am glad that I can ride the Yamaha R1. For me everything starts from new now and BSB is the first experience.
“This test in Spain is important for Brands Hatch and the opening races because of the regulation changes for this year and I must find a good base setup. I look forward to seeing how I can prepare for the season with this new system.
"I do not worry though because we have a very good crew and the team has lots of experience. I will do my very best for the team, Yamaha, the sponsors and fans around the world."
Team owner Shaun Muir concluded: “It has been a busy period for the Swan Yamaha team preparing for our first shakedown test in Spain. The team had a fantastic season last year and as the reigning champions we want to do everything we possibly can to retain the number one plate.
“The rule changes in the championship for this year mean that we have a whole new range of factors to consider, however we are fully prepared for the challenge.
"I know both Tommy and Noriyuki are looking forward to getting their season started so I hope that we can have a productive visit to Spain so we are fully set for the opening round of the season at Brands Hatch.”