Tommy Hayden will continue to ride the Yamaha Extended Services (Y.E.S.)/Graves Yamaha for the rest of the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Series and he'll even do so with his signature number 22.
Yamaha announced today that they'd reached an agreement with Hayden that will see him finish the season with the team. Hayden was called in to fill in for the injured Garrett Gerloff for the Daytona 200 and he's been with the team ever since as Gerloff continues to recover from his broken leg. Hayden is currently fourth in the Daytona SportBike Championship - two points out of third.
"I'm really excited to be able to continue racing for Y.E.S./Graves/Yamaha for the rest of the season," Hayden said. "My approach to racing won't be any different. I try my best, no matter what. I definitely don't feel like I've performed to the best of my ability, so I'm glad to be able to continue with the team. We'll be working hard to get wins. Barber is a favorite track of mine, and it's closest to my home, so I'll be trying hard to get my first win of the season in front of my family and friends."
As for getting his old number back...
"The number's been with me for quite a while - since my second year as a pro road racer - so it means a lot to me to have the 22 back on my bike. It's good for the fans, too. They know me by the number 22 more than anything, I'd say.
"All of us on the team and at Yamaha and Graves Motorsports are thrilled to be able to have Tommy remain with us throughout the rest of the 2012 season, and having him on the #22 R6 is icing on the cake," said Keith McCarty, Yamaha's Motorsports Racing Division Manager. "Fans know the legacy of the number 22 as it pertains to Tommy, and we're looking forward to seeing that number on a Yamaha once again and back out on track in AMA Pro Racing competition. Tommy's been doing a great job for us as a substitute rider for Garrett, and we're glad to be able to keep the momentum going."
Gerloff has been attending the races of late and he will continue to do so.
"He's been providing awesome support to our team and attention to our fans," said Chuck Graves, the team owner. "He'll return to testing and racing when his injury from Daytona has fully healed to the satisfaction of both his doctors and us. We expect that Garrett will be back on board his #8 Y.E.S./Graves/Yamaha sometime later in the season but, right now we don't have a definitive date for his return to racing for us."