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Indy weekend kicks off with downtown event

Indy weekend kicks off with downtown event

The Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix weekend got underway with an event at Monument Circle, where Kevin Schwantz and Roger Lee Hayden discussed their Moto2 wild card project.

American MotoGP fans were treated to a glimpse of a host of home-grown stars on Thursday as premier class rookie Ben Spies, Moto2 riders Kenny Noyes and Roger Lee Hayden, and former World Champion Kevin Schwantz all appeared at Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix.

Schwantz and Hayden discussed their American Honda Moto2 wild card entry which sees the 1993 500cc World Champion take on a Team Manager role, a position he eagerly accepted.

“I jumped at this chance because team management was always something I thought I’d enjoy,” said an enthusiastic Schwantz. “It’s a great opportunity that American Honda and Moriwaki have given me and the whole team is hoping we can get Roger Lee Hayden right up the field. Moto2 is a tough class but I think we have assembled a good enough crew to put our best foot forward.”

“Roger is a great guy and I think his maturity will really help him in this whole experience,” continued Schwantz. “Like we saw at Laguna Seca (in the MotoGP class) he can get on anything and ride it, and it’s been great to work with him.”

Hayden, who rode as a substitute for Randy de Puniet in the premier class at Laguna Seca five weeks ago, was just as excited at the prospect of the weekend. “It’s really special to see all the fans here to meet us,” he said, before turning his attentions to his expectations.

“We expect to do really well. Everybody has been working really hard and Kevin has helped me out a lot. We’d really like to get a top ten and we know it’s going to be difficult against the best riders in the world.”

“This really is a dream come true,” he continued. “Indianapolis has so much history and Kevin Schwantz was one of my heroes growing up, and being able to get advice from him has helped me a lot. I feel very fortunate and it’s definitely the closest race to home even though I’ve never been to this track before.”

Along with Hayden, Noyes rode some laps of the track last Friday in preparation for his first home GP in his rookie season. The Jack&Jones by Antonio Banderas rider said: “This place is awesome and has a really big tradition, so to have the GP here is amazing. The whole town is behind the event and it’s great to be a part of it.”

“I did a few laps here last week to learn the track and I like it. We’re really hoping this is one of the tracks we get the bike competitive on right away and are then able to put in a good result. This really does feel like a home GP with all my friends and family here, so it will be a super experience.”

Finally, adding his thoughts on how the premier class race could go, Schwantz commented: “Lorenzo is riding with great confidence and he will be hard to beat, I don’t think it would be wise to bet against him. I’m really looking for Rossi to push and try and win some of these remaining Grands Prix, and of course it would be great to see some American excitement up front with Nicky Hayden, Ben Spies and Colin Edwards.”

Moto2, 2010, RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GRAND PRIX, Kenny Noyes, Kevin Schwantz, Jack & Jones by A.Banderas, American Honda

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