With the announcement that Colin Edwards would be unable to attend and race the Valencian GP because of injuries he sustained during the tragic incident that killed Marco Simoncelli, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 said earlier today that it was looking into a replacement rider for the last MotoGP round. With speculation swirling after Tech 3’s announcement, Asphalt & Rubber has now been able to confirm that AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes will be the Texas Tornardo’s replacement at Valencia.

First confusingly tipped-off by a press release from Hayes’ leather sponsor Teknic, the American has since been confirmed by our sources to be headed to Spain for next weekend’s race. The move is perhaps a no-brainer for the satellite Yamaha squad, as Hayes was already set to test Edward’s 800cc Yamaha YZR-M1 during the post-season testing sessions after the Valencian GP. Hayes was given the opportunity to ride the M1 surely because of his well-earned AMA Superbike Championship victory this year, with Colin Edward’s departure to Forward Racing at the end of the season freeing up the machine.

Photo: Monster Graves Yamaha

  • SBPilot

    Honestly, they should have given this ride to Eugene Laverty. I mean he “only” came third in his WSBK debut for Yamaha. He’s young and highly talented, very adaptable rider…but MotoGP is all political crap which probably prevented Laverty from signing with Tech 3 or getting a test date. Now he’s with Aprilia. Yamaha screwed up on this one…Hayes…no disrespect to the guy but seriously…

  • RedJet

    SBPilot. Would have given it to Laverty if they could I’m sure, however, he is already signed with a competitive team in WSBK (well, would have been a competitor had Yamaha stayed). Nonetheless, can’t do while under contract with someone else.

    Bravo for Hayes!

  • Paul Davies

    With two other Americans still racing, could they not have given another Brit rider a chance? Hows about Tommy Hill who road a Yamaha to a thrilling BSB title narrowly pipping the MotoGP bound John Hopkins? Just a thought…

  • Bob

    SB, I think Laverty will do quite well on the Aprilia next season. It’s an awesome machine, even if Max himself didn’t deliver this time.

  • RedJet

    There was an interview with Lin Jarvis who said Tommy Hill is on the list should Ben not be able to ride (or to replace Lorenzo). He did not want all test riders but racers for the last round. May see Hill yet. No word on Ben’s condition at the moment but Lorenzo will not ride.

  • Alexontwowheels

    Well deserved for Hayes!

  • macguytpa

    @Paul Davies – Do not over look Monster’s involvement in this, they sponsor both Tech 3, Graves Yamaha, and Josh Hayes. I would say that is a strong reason Hill didn’t get the nod. Also given the fact that Hayes has won Yamaha two AMA Superbike championships to Hill’s one BSB championship.

  • 76

    Well that might be interesting to see hayes actually pratice qualify and race now, before it was just testing, best of luck to him

  • SBPilot

    @Redjet and Bob – I completely agree Laverty is in a good way right now having signed with Aprilia and I know he couldn’t have ridden the M1 this time around because he signed already. It’s just too bad he couldn’t come to terms with the Tech 3 squad prior to signing Aprilia.

    @macguytpa – you are absolutely correct. MotoGP is all about sponsorship and internal politics. Monster is the major sponsor of Tech 3 and the Graves Yamaha, it was definitely Monster than played a crucial hand in getting Hayes the ride. I meant that in my original post about “politics” but didn’t get too detailed. Bang on though. I also think Tommy Hill would be a better candidate, he is young as well (yes he “only” won one BSB title but he was right up there last year).

    I highly doubt he will replace Lorenzo or Spies since they are the factory team. Cal has underperformed, and Yamaha thinks so as well, otherwise he would have subbed in for Lorenzo instead of call in their test rider.

  • macguytpa

    @SBPilot – FIrst and foremost I will come out and say I am Yamaha fan and a Hayes fan, but I in no way would ever deny that Hill is a hell of a rider. Hayes future is in AMA and I do not see this as being anything more than a reward for Hayes and a way for Monster and Yamaha to promote. Hill is defiantly younger and has a longer future ahead of him and hopefully he does get his chance on a MotoGP machine and if he doesn’t there is always WSBK.

    On a side note I would love for the US to get better quality television feeds of WSBK and WSS races in addition to coverage of BSB series. Also if anyone wants to share a invite to any sites that would facilitate me getting my motorcycle racing fix I would be highly appreciative.

  • steveo

    Hayes is a fine replacement. Why not really Stoke the fire if Spies and Lorenzo are out put Hill and Herrin on the bikes and really make it a joke.

    3 non – Competes in the final race of the yr. Way to go Hayes wish you the best please finish the race and keep it off the Deck. Boz got a shot this yr 1 up him and finish ahead of at least one rider..

    just my .02

  • 76

    the boz experiment was a bit of a disappointment, I mean he pulled in? I no way am I saying I could do better or anything remotely close but its a pro racers dream, to pull in was completely deflating.

  • Dr. Gellar

    Congratulations Josh…and good luck! I’ll be rooting for you…

  • Steve

    If Hayes can adapt to the thing he should be respectable, given enough practice, The Bostrom stand in at Laguna was embarrasing. I still don’t know what was worse, his interview or his ride. All the best of luck to Hayes I hope he does well. Have a good time on that beast.

  • buellracerx

    congrats Hayes, couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy! You earned it!

    definitely recording this one for the archives…