Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Roger Lee Hayden & Jason DiSalvo Looking for Good Results in Moto2 Wild Card Outing at the Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP Round

Roger Lee Hayden on the #95 Kawasaki Motors Corp. ZX-6RR leads older brother, and '04-'05 AMA 600 Supersport Champion Tommy Hayden on the #1-like sponsored machine, early in the running of the AMA 600 Supersport final at Mid Ohio on July 24, 2005. Keeping it close are Ben Attard on the #12 Attack Performance/Kawasaki Motors Corp. ZX-6RR and Jason DiSalvo on the #40 Chuck Graves-run Yamaha Motor Corp. YZF-R6. After 16 laps of fighting it out, the four finished pretty darn near this close to one another, and in the order as shown in the shot. Only .553 seconds seperated the Hayden's from Attard, and DiSalvo finished just 2.269 seconds arrears of winner Roger Lee.
Roger Lee and Jason are both contesting the Indy MotoGP Moto2 Class in wild card outings this weekend and after testing at the World Capital of Racing last Thursday and Friday at least have a good feel for the track, since neither had ever ridden it. With a one-shot deal to get your name and number back in front of an international crowd and make some impressions for their future resumes in racing, both riders know the difficulty of taking something like this on in a class that could see as many as 43 or 44 bikes on the grid come racetime on Sunday. Stu's Shots will be watching them both and helping to get them home towards the top and we wish them the best and safest of racing this weekend.
One of the better stories from the American side of things for the 3rd Annual Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP is the wild card appearances in the Moto2 class of former AMA Road Racing stars Roger Lee Hayden and Jason DiSalvo. Both men tested last Thursday and Friday at the World Capital of Racing on the 2.6 mile IMS course in preparation for this weekend's round 11 stop of the MotoGP/Moto2/125CC World Championships. (Okay, in actuality it is really only stop 10 for the Moto2 and 125 classes as they didn't make the trip to Laguna Seca in late July.)
Hayden was able to test all day on both days as American Honda set the test up and paid the big bucks (reportedly $30K U.S. to rent the sprawling IMS facility for the two day test), and they are the one's footing the bill for this big outing for RLH. With Kevin Erion and his Erion Honda Racing resources paired up with Roger Lee, and former '93 500CC World Champion Kevin Schwantz managing the effort, this is a full-on assault in the Moto2 class.
With Honda submitting the control-spec and sealed 600CC engines for all participants in the 40+ rider class, it was a natural to sponsor an American effort since American Honda has been pretty idle in U.S. road racing since the end of the 2008 season. And with this match up of the stars-literally and figuratively-they could produce some really good results with the Moriwaki-based chassis set up the team is using. This was the team's third test after also having tested under hot and humid conditions at Barber Motorsports Park earlier this summer as well. And with the close proximity of times being produced by the regular riders in this class, every minute of track time is going to prove to be VERY vital in order to be able to produce top 1o or even top 15 results, not to mention the level of talent in this class.
Roger Lee has been contesting the World Superbike Championship for the under funded Team Pedercini Kawasaki, but has shown signs of great considering the lack of development the bike has received, and has scored points in a couple of rounds now. That may not sound that great for the guy that took the 2007 AMA 600 Supersport Championship and used to figure up in the front in almost every class or race he has run in North America in the last 10+ years, but if you look at the curve of what he has gotten out of the bike, the level of competition in WSBK, the lack of money the team has been able to put into it, and then throw in Roger's never having seen the majority of the tracks they race on, well, he's not doing too awfully bad then. But you have to look at the big picture to see the signs of light being emitted from what he has done in the face of these hurdles this year.
Jason DiSalvo will also be doing the wild card thing in the Moto2 class for the FTR MOTO M210 team and his effort will be overlooked by current AMA Pro Racing Technical advisor Al Luddington, who if you will remember was involved with American Honda for some time and wrenched for a man by the name of Miguel Duhamel. The man knows Honda's and he knows how to set a bike up, so that has to be a big plus to have in your corner coming into this one-off weekend.
Jason seemed reasonably happy with the test speeds he was able to attain last week and is also hoping for strong results after having split in late May/early June with the World Supersport team of ParkinGo BE1 Racing after running their Daytona 675 Speed Triple in the World Supersport Championship for the first part of the year.
Knowing this is a big platform to be able to put on a good showing, the Moto2 class running this weekend at the Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP round is probably going to be the race and class where it is all going to happen. The new class has produced some changes and variations compared to the old 250CC two stroke class in that some of the regular two stroke riders who used to be at the front have struggled with the new diesel class. Whereas some of the up and comers who have come out of four stroke production-type racing--i.e. Roger Lee Hayden and Jason DiSalvo (we hope!), have faired much better with the rigidity of the chassis and the performance specs of the sealed inline four cylinder four stroke machines.
Thusly, for both RLH and DiSalvo, this is a critical weekend to get their names out there for future consideration in just about any racing series, let alone one that caters to 40+ rider grids and runs on an international level criss-crossing the globe several times throughout a given race season. That's a pretty steep hill to climb for both riders and both teams.
Whichever way things go for the former AMA Road Racing pilots, the real winners this weekend are going to be the fans. The level of racing produced in this class is top of the bar, and when you throw in the wild cards for the weekend here in Indy, you've got a full-on game of black jack....on two wheels at 160+ mph.
We wish Roger Lee Hayden and Jason DiSalvo both the very best of luck and safest of racing this weekend and we'll be on hand to check them out and watch them perform on this greatest of stages. And if they can manage to put it up there and dice it with the boys over the course of racing action, good on them! Go get 'em guys!
You can check out the various reports of the tests at Indy last week below, as well as a press release from American Honda below that has a shot of the great looking machine with the #34-in homage to team manager Kevin Schwantz-that RLH will be contesting here in Indy.
Here's Larry Lawrence's spin on what these guys have ahead of them for this weekend's round 11 of the MotoGP circus at Indy in their respective wild card rides in the new Moto2 class. Larry runs the always bitchin' and was on the scene for the test session these two took part in last Thursday and Friday at the World Capital of Racing here in Indianapolis over at IMS:
And here's Double L's posting on the test sessions as per the press release from IMS:
Here's Larry's report from the first test day that Roger Lee and Jason took part in along with Kenny Noyes and Robertino Pietri. Some good shots of the boys from Larry as well that helped to fill in the big picture on the testing session:
And here is another spin on the testing put in by Roger Lee on the American Honda/Erion Racing/Kevin Schwantz-run team that also has a shot of the bike in the great looking colors as RLH will be racing:

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