Tommy Hayden has signed on to race in the 2012 Daytona 200 for the Graves Yamaha team as an replacement for injured rider Garrett Gerloff.
Gerloff broke his right femur in the first Daytona Sportbike class practice session for the Daytona 200, leaving Yamaha little time to find a replacement. Hayden had raced for Yamaha before, and those old ties reconnected quickly in time for the season opening race.
“The last thing a rider wants to do is replace an injured rider,” says Hayden. “But, I rode for Yamaha a few years back, and they have always treated me like a special member of their family. I couldn’t be happier to be back!”
Hayden had been left adrift this off-season by his former team, Yoshimura Suzuki despite finishing third in the 2011 AMA Superbike Championship. Hayden had finished in the top three in the series for the past three seasons but was unable to secure a ride for 2012 beyond the Daytona 200.
“Our hearts go out to Garrett Gerloff, and we wish him a speedy recovery,” says Keith McCarty, Yamaha motorsports racing division manager. “As for Tommy, we’re very fortunate to be able to enlist a rider of his caliber for the Daytona 200, and as a teammate with Cameron Beaubier. Tommy formerly rode for us, so we know first-hand how capable he is. It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances, to be sure, but we’re pleased to be able to have Tommy race Garrett’s Number 8 Yamaha Extended Service/Graves/Yamaha R6.”
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[Source: Yamaha, AMA Pro Racing (YouTube)]