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Kawasaki still hopeful for Roger Lee Hayden summer dates

Kawasaki still hopeful for Roger Lee Hayden summer dates

Despite Roger Lee Hayden´s injuries suffered last weekend in the States Kawasaki are still expecting the American to be testing and riding for them in MotoGP this summer.

A heavy crash for Roger Lee Hayden in qualifying at the second round of the AMA Superbike Championship left him requiring surgery this week, but the American rider is expected to recover in time to test and race for Kawasaki in MotoGP later this year.

A younger brother of 2006 MotoGP World Champion, Nicky Hayden, Roger Lee suffered an accident last weekend at Barber Motorsports Park riding for Kawasaki in the US domestic series, and had two operations during the week to assist his recovery.

However, according to Kawasaki´s MotoGP competition manager Michael Bartholemy, Hayden should still be ready for some important MotoGP summer commitments, having finished 10th at Laguna Seca last year in a wildcard appearance.

`We had talked to his management in Estoril about the opportunity to have wildcards for Indianapolis and Laguna Seca, and also to do the test in Indianapolis,´ said Bartholemy. `The latest I heard from them is that yes he had the accident but they are thinking that he will be fit in the next two months.´

`So that means he could participate in the test and both races and that is the latest information we had from his management.´

Emphasising just why his team are so keen for Hayden to be involved in their summer schedule, Bartholemy continued, `The American market is very important for Kawasaki. That is why we had three bikes last year (at Laguna). This year we have one of the best American riders with Kawasaki already (John Hopkins) but our intention is to have three bikes again at these two events at Indianapolis and Laguna Seca.´

Meanwhile, Bartholemy previewed the shorter term task of tackling round four of the 2008 season, saying, `I´m looking forward to China because we have done quite well there recently. We have always struggled a little bit at Estoril and John (Hopkins) had a very good result there, so I think the next few tracks such as China, Le Mans, Mugello and Catalunya will be ok for us.´

In terms of the approach to assisting Anthony West to get over his poor start to the year so far, Bartholemy explained, `Anthony has been in the States with John for 15 days of training. He has also moved from Austria to Belgium so he now lives around 500 metres from my house so this will change his life a bit. We can train more, with the motocross bikes here and he can have a bit of fun in between the races.´

`We will do everything we can to make Anthony happy, so that he can get back to performing well in the championship.´

MotoGP, 2008, Kawasaki Racing Team

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