Hayden To Ride Moto2 Wildcard at Indy MotoGP
In his surprise one-off wildcard Moto2 ride at the Red Bull Indy GP, Roger Lee Hayden will be riding for the Erion Honda team he last rode for in '03.
Photography: Henny Ray Ab...
Photography: Henny Ray Abrams
Roger Lee Hayden had to keep his involvement in the American Honda Moto2 project a secret for so long that once he was given the OK to talk he could barely contain himself.
Hayden was handpicked by the team's manager, Kevin Schwantz, to race in the first ever Moto2 event at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix in August. "Yeah, I'm really excited," he said. "It's a big opportunity for me. I'm excited to be on a really competitive bike, and a good team. I feel very lucky. It's also for me a huge honor to have one of your racing heroes ask you to ride his bike."
Hayden will race on a Moriwaki chassis prepared by Erion Racing, the team he last rode for in '03. The August 27-29 race is on the final weekend of his five-week summer break from World Superbike.
Hayden said the Pedercini Kawasaki team "were really cool about it. They're happy to see me get an opportunity and it wasn't even a problem with them at all." Hayden initially didn't get too excited about it, having lost one Moto2 ride already, "so I just kinda waited it out, and when I finally signed the paper, I was really excited. Plus I've rode a lot on a 600 and that's where I did my best my whole career." Of Hayden's 14 AMA wins, 13 came on the Kawasaki ZX-6R.
The Moto2 field has been extremely competitive, which is something Hayden's aware of. He's watched the races, as well as a few practice sessions.
"It's such a stacked field. It's so competitive," he said. "If you're one second off you're back in 27th position. I kind of almost look at this as...I hate to put too much pressure on myself, but this is my one opportunity really to prove what I can do on a good bike."