BROOKLYN, NY, MARCH 19 – Tommy Hayden will continue to ride the Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha in place of the injured Garrett Gerloff for the next two rounds of the AMA Pro Road Race Daytona SportBike championship and possibly more, according to senior team management.
Hayden is scheduled to test the number ‘8’ Yamaha YZF-R6 this Tuesday and Wednesday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, then continue with the team for the April 22-22 Road Atlanta and May 4-6 Infineon Raceway rounds of the championship.
“During this period we will monitor the progress of Garrett’s [Gerloff] recovery and may decide to keep Tommy [Hayden] on the bike a bit longer,” Yamaha race boss Keith McCarty said.
Following his seventh place finish in Saturday’s Daytona 200, Hayden said that he was “looking forward to going to test more than anything.”
He’d arrived in Daytona on Thursday evening and wasn’t able to practice before Friday morning qualifying. With two days of testing in Florida, Hayden said he was hopeful of getting a base setup that he could use for any future races.
“And then, yeah, Atlanta would be cool to start a little more prepared, start normal,” he said. “The 600 was going to be challenging enough. There’s a lot of talent out there, a lot of young kids, a lot of kids trying to prove themselves. And it was cool to ride around with them and see that first hand. So I’m not going to go there and expect to show up and dominate then, but I hope to put up a little bit better fight and be closer to the front.”
McCarty said that the team is looking forward to Gerloff’s return, but not before he’s fully healed, because the bone has to withstand another crash and he’s a “very young kid and the femur is a big bone and and a very important bone and I’m sure his family wants everything to heal properly.”
Gerloff left the Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach earlier on Monday, four days after his turn one crash. McCarty was complimentary of Speedway medical personnel, who got Gerloff’s leg straightened out and had it in traction in an air cast before he left the track, which reduced the trauma.
Surgeons made two small incisions to put a rod into the femur. and “He was on his feet within 24 hours of surgery,” McCarty said. “He was up with a walker this morning by himself [with the help of pain medication].”
“He’ll recover quite quickly. It just comes down to building of calcium around any break – that takes time. He’s going to be fine. Meanwhile we’ll get Tommy [Hayden] up to speed and do a little testing with him and try to get him comfortable and take it one race at a time.”