Roger Lee Hayden to Race Suzuki Motorcycle for Michael Jordan

Henny Ray Abrams | November 18, 2010

Roger Lee Hayden will once again face off against his oldest brother in the AMA Pro Road Racing Championship after it was announced that the youngest of the racing Haydens had signed to team with Ben Bostrom on the Michael Jordan Motorsports team.Hayden spent this past season putting his versatility and willingness to race on display. Hayden’s main assault was on the World Superbike Championship, but his Pedercini Kawasaki team, on control Pirelli tires, was underfunded and undermanned and the season was a struggle. In July he rode the LCR Honda RC212V on spec Bridgestones in place of the injured Randy de Puniet at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, finishing 11th. At the end of the summer, Hayden raced the Dunlop-shod American Honda Moriwaki in the Moto2 race at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix. That race ended on the first lap when he was taken out, and had his head run over, in a multi-rider crash. Hayden was one of a number of riders to recently test the DNA Racing Ducati Daytona SportBike contender in Texas.Now he’s back in the U.S. and back on a Suzuki, a brand he last raced in 2000 for the Chaparral Suzuki team in the Supersport class. This will be Hayden’s first season racing a Suzuki Superbike and the first time in AMA Superbike since 2008 when he spent an injury-wracked season on the Monster Energy Kawasaki. Hayden finished 22nd overall with a pair of sixth place finishes as the highlights. In 2009, he raced a Monster Energy Attack Racing Kawasaki in the Daytona SportBike championship. Hayden finished 12th after missing the first two rounds in a contractual dispute.The move back to the U.S. immediately thrusts him into the middle of an unsettled championship, with only a handful of contracted riders. Hayden will race the 2011 Suzuki GSX-R1000 against his brother Tommy and Blake Young, at Yoshimura Suzuki, Yamaha’s Josh Hayes, and Suzuki riders Martin Cardenas and Chris Ulrich, who were sponsored by Monster Energy drinks in 2010.In a team press release, Hayden said, “I’m so excited to be a part of Team Jordan. These guys have a great crew and I’m excited to get on the bike as soon as possible. I’m ready to show what I’m made of… It’s also good to be home, there’s no place like home.”No announcement has been made on how the riders will be assigned to the two teams, National Guard Jordan Suzuki and Jordan Suzuki. Last year Jake Zemke rode the National Guard Suzuki and Aaron Yates the Jordan Suzuki.The release also said that the team is monitoring the recovery of Yates, who suffered a seriously broken right leg during practice for the AMA round at Auto Club Speedway in March. Yates had successful bone graft surgery in September “is progressing better than expected, according to his doctors,” the team release said.

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.