Aprilia has confirmed that the Samurai of Slide himself Noriyuki Haga will join Colin Edwards on the Aprilia RS3 in MotoGP next year.
The squad will also switch to the favoured Michelin tyres away from the Dunlop’s it has been running with Frenchman Regis Laconi this year.
A statement from Aprilia’s President Ivano Beggio says: " I have always wanted the MotoGP project to go forward, in the hope that it will become a centre of technological and sporting excellence in Aprilia.
" The results of the first year of development work on the bike will act as a launching pad towards greater competitiveness next season.
" We are putting great emphasis on the innovation and evolution we are capable of, as well as on the talent of these two riders selected for the 2003 challenge. "