Josh Hayes Confirmed As Edwards' Replacement For Valencia

Josh Hayes is to replace the injured Colin Edwards at the Valencia round of MotoGP. The news can hardly be called news any more, after Hayes' leathers sponsor Teknic jumped the gun and issued a press release announcing the move on Friday.

The announcement hardly comes as a surprise for another reason. Hayes was already due to attend the Valencia MotoGP round, as he had been offered the chance to ride Edwards' MotoGP bike at the test after the Valencia race as a reward for winning his second AMA Superbike championship in a row. Once it became clear that Edwards would be forced to miss his final outing with the Tech 3 team due to the injuries sustained in the crash that fatally injured Marco Simoncelli, Hayes was the obvious choice. The decision was made even easier by the fact that Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies, both riders with ties to Yamaha and experience of the Bridgestone tires, would not be available as both men were off to race with other manufacturers in WSBK. 

Though Hayes has proved himself in the AMA series, he faces formidable challenges at Valencia. Both the carbon brakes and the Bridgestone tires take a lot of getting used to for newcomers, and Hayes has experience of neither. With just a few hours' practice before the race, he will have to learn fast.

Below is the official press release from Tech 3:

Josh Hayes to join Tech 3 Yamaha in Valencia

American Superbike Champion Josh Hayes will replace injured Colin Edwards for this weekend's Valencia MotoGP round in Spain.

The 36-year-old has been drafted in by the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad because Edwards is unable to participate in Valencia while he recovers from injuries sustained during the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang on October 23.

Edwards was due to make his final appearance for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit after a long and successful career with Yamaha in the MotoGP World Championship, which started back in 2005.

The Texan though will undergo an operation to repair cartilage damage around the top of the humerus bone in his left arm after he was involved in an incident with Marco Simoncelli and Valentino Rossi on the second lap of the Sepang race.

Tragically, Simoncelli succumbed to injuries sustained in the accident.

Hayes, who won his second successive American Superbike crown for the Monster Energy Graves Yamaha Team in a dramatic final round in New Jersey, was due to test the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine the day after Sunday's final race.

Yamaha US and Monster Energy arranged the test appearance to reward Hayes for capturing the American Superbike title for the second year in succession in 2011.

Hayes will now join British rider Cal Crutchlow when practice for the Valencia round gets underway on Friday morning.

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But I should imagine Hayes will acquit himself reasonably well. It will be an semi - interesting commentary on the state of the AMA series post Spies and Mladin. I certainly expect a better & more committed performance than Bostrom at L.G.

Riders as in Hayes position should be allowed track time on the Thursday before the meeting, even a couple of hours would be of extreme benefit.
What with first time on the bike,tyres,brakes and probably circuit, Hayes has a mountain to climb to have any hope of trying to tag on to a tail ender.
But i wish him good luck.

Does anyone know if Jorge is fit enough to race in the final race, I'm presuming he will be trackside but will he be racing????