AMA Supersport Champion Tommy Hayden to campaign new ZX-10R in Superbike, Roger Hayden set to contend in Superbike and Supersport
Irvine, Calif. (September 16, 2005) - Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. recently announced that reigning AMA Supersport Champion Tommy Hayden, will contest the all-new Ninja® ZX-10R in AMA Superbike for Kawasaki Road Racing in 2006. Tommy will be teamed with his brother Roger, who is making the jump into Superbike for the first time and will also field a ZX-6RR in Supersport. Tommy will not compete in Supersport this year. Instead, he will focus on Superbike only, and will make selected appearances in the Supersport class. Roger, meanwhile, will pull double duty in both Superbike and Supersport with the goal of achieving his first AMA Supersport title while battling alongside Tommy for the Superbike crown.
En route to winning this years' Supersport title aboard his ZX-6RR motorcycle, Tommy - who resides in Owensboro, Ky., - took first-place finishes in Supersport at Daytona, Infineon Raceway and Road America, before an unfortunate crash in Superstock at Laguna Seca left him with a broken bone in his right hand. Despite the setback, he soldiered on and finished out the season with runner-up finishes to Roger at Mid-Ohio and Virginia International Raceway before bringing home the championship in the final event of the season at Road Atlanta.
Looking ahead to the 2006 season, Tommy is pleased to be contending in Superbike again. "I'm excited to be back for another season with Kawasaki," explained Tommy, "The guys on the team are great and I had a great bike to ride last year. It's going to be a challenge to return to Superbike but it's something I've wanted to do for a long time."
Team Manager Mike Preston is just as enthusiastic as Tommy is concerning their continuing relationship. "Most of all I'm excited to have the opportunity to work with both brothers again," he said. "The connection that these two have both on and off the track is important to the consistency of the team. Obviously we're thrilled that Tommy won his second Supersport championship, because that was our goal right from the beginning of last season. For 2006 we're going to continue our focus on the Supersport championship with Roger while giving both riders our best effort in Superbike as well."
Preston also expressed confidence in Roger's abilities. "Roger is a rider who has really come into his own while racing for Kawasaki," said Preston. "He's had a few years of experience now, and is a perfect fit for our program and its future. By putting him on a championship-winning team, with the best equipment Kawasaki has to offer, we believe he has an excellent opportunity to succeed in both categories."
Last season, the talented, 22-year-old Kentucky native continued to hone his racing skills while finishing runner-up to Tommy in Supersport and also earned fourth place in the Superstock class. He capped off a stellar season of podium finishes by winning the final Superstock race and completely dominating the final Supersport race at Road Atlanta, where he captured his first-ever pole position and led every lap to win the event by an astonishing 5.096 second margin. Roger's racing resume for 2005 includes Supersport wins at Pikes Peak, Mid-Ohio and Virginia International Raceway. He also finished on the podium placing third in Superstock at Laguna Seca and was runner-up at Virginia International Raceway.
When asked about the upcoming season Roger replied, "I'm really excited to be back riding for Kawasaki, and I am definitely looking forward to riding the new ZX-10R in Superbike. Tommy's one of the best teammates to have and I'm hoping both of us will have some close battles. I'm just looking forward to going out there, trying to learn as much as I can and hopefully bring home a trophy or two."
The Attack Kawasaki team will also be returning for the 2006 season with popular Aussie rider Ben Attard competing in Supersport aboard a NINJA ZX-6RR and Superstock on the new ZX-10R. Last season, Attard made the podium twice in Supersport by taking third-place at Mid-Ohio and Road Atlanta. Attard also posted third-place finishes at Infineon Raceway and Pikes Peak in Formula Xtreme. He closed-out his season with a runner-up finish in FX at Road Atlanta. Negotiations continue for a potential second rider who would also campaign both classes.
Looking toward the 2006 race schedule, Preston adds, "We're already in the process of testing equipment and preparing for the season. The rest of the Superbike field will be fiercely competitive, but we plan to take charge at the season opener in Daytona and not let off until the final race in Virginia."
Source: Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.