MONTEREY, CA, JULY 23 – Number 34 is back in Grand Prix racing with Roger Lee Hayden slated to run the number made famous by his one-race team manager Kevin Schwantz when the pair attack the Moto2 class at Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the end of August. The bike was unveiled today at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in a ceremony that featured Hayden, Schwantz and team owner Kevin Erion.
“It’s great to see the number 34 back on a bike,” Schwantz said. “Unfortunately, it’s not on the MotoGP class but it’s still a great number on a Moto2 bike. I think Aldo Drudi did a great job designing it and it obviously has a lot of American flair to it, which is I think our intention. Hopefully, we will be able to get the result we all want at Indianapolis.”Number 34 was officially retired from MotoGP racing after Schwantz’s retirement from the sport, but it will be back – at least in Moto2 – for Indy with Hayden riding the American Honda-backed Erion Racing fettled bike.Hayden, who is here this weekend as a substitute rider on the LCR team for the injured Randy de Puniet in the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix. recently tested the Moto 2 bike in 117 degree temperatures at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway in Desert Center, California.”The test went really good for us,” Hayden said. “For me to get used to working with the team, the crew chief Jon Ethel. I’ve known him for a long time, but we never worked together. It was really good. We didn’t have any big problems with the bike for the first test; we got the handlebar position and things I guess. We can go to the next test at Barber and really start to get down into the bike and get it working better for me. I really like it. It’s a fun bike and it really handles good. It’s a lot smaller compared to what I’m used to riding. I had a lot of fun and I’m really looking forward to Indy.”I really fortunate and blessed to have this opportunities, to ride a MotoGP bike, to ride a Moto2 bike for one of your heroes growing up. American Honda has probably won the most championships in all of racing, so for me… it’s what you dream of as a kid and I feel really lucky. It is a lot of traveling, but it’s worth it at the end.”