Photography by Brian J. Nelson
The announcement last week that Michael Jordan Motorsports was pulling out of the AMA Superbike Championship after losing National Guard as its sponsor is has put many out of work. And you can add Roger Lee Hayden to that list.
Hayden, who won his first AMA Superbike race with the team in 2012, finished second five times on the Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000 in 2013 with one additional podium finish.
“Right now I have absolutely nothing,” Hayden said in a phone conversation from his home in Owensboro, Kentucky. “I’m searching for a ride.”
With Jordan out of the series, it leaves Graves Motorsports Yamaha and Yoshimura Suzuki as the desirable factory Superbike rides for 2014. Yamaha is full with three-time AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes being joined on the team’s R1s by Daytona SportBike Champion Cameron Beaubier; and Yoshimura has already signed Martin Cardenas for a second year. If he had his druthers, Hayden would like a shot at joining the Yosh team.
And with Jordan wanting to go World Superbike or MotoGP racing, Hayden would also be a natural fit there. But the team is likely to dabble in international racing this year with a goal of a full-time gig in 2015.
“I really don’t know what they’re… I still talk to those guys all the time, but they’ve got to find some sponsorship before they do anything,” Hayden said. “They told me if they continued this year, they wanted me to come back to the team. They were always up front and honest. They told me that it depends on sponsors. They never led me on – they were up front and honest. They told me if I got another option to take it. They told me that before it came out in Cycle News. It just sucks for everybody. It doesn’t just suck for me. It sucks for the mechanics and everyone else as well. They’ve got bills to pay.
“What are we going to have now… four Superbike riders next year? And maybe only one Yosh rider?”