Schwantz, Hayden & Erion to Race Moto2

June 16, 2010
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

American Honda returns to the US roadracing scene this summer at the Indianapolis Grand Prix. Big Red will contest the all-new Moto2 class, and it’s got some big names running the show. Kevin Schwantz will manage a team that includes Kevin Erion’s support and American Roger Hayden at the controls.
Roger Hayden - Attack Kawasaki
Roger Hayden will trade Green for Red this August, when the World Superbike competitor rides an American Honda Moto2 at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP.

Honda first announced its participation at last week (American Honda to Participate in 2010 Indy GP), with new details announced via press release yesterday. The biggest name to lend his support to the Moto2 cause is long-time Suzuzki man and 1993 GP Champion Schwantz, who said of the new venture:

“It’s an honor for me to be chosen as team manager. We’ve been using CBR600RRs for some time now at our schools, and I’ve ridden a Moto2 bike and it’s very good. I watched the first three Moto2 races and I expect the racing to be just as good at Indy.”

At the controls of the Moto2 ride, Hayden gets a prime opportunity to perform for the American fans. The Owensboro, Kentucky native has struggled this year in his rookie World Superbike season, campaigning on the Pedercini Kawasaki, with the ZX-10R clearly the poorest performing machine in the highly-competitive SBK paddock.

Said the American of his wild card Moto2 gig: “This is a great opportunity for me to race in front of my home crowd at a MotoGP event. The Moto2 class is really competitive and I’m looking forward to jumping in the middle of it.”

Erion Honda techs will support the American Indy Moto2 effort, which will utilize a Moriwaki MD600. The Moto2 class makes use of a spec engine derived from the Honda CBR600RR, with teams sourcing various chassis designs. The Morikawi design has yielded two victories this season at the hands of Toni Elias, who also leads the Moto2 points standings.

Since pulling out official support of the AMA Pro Racing series, American Honda has been absent from premier roadracing series in the US. The Indy GP presents a unique opportunity for a return, even if it is momentary.

“American Honda views the Indy GP as an opportunity to support Moto2 in the U.S.,” said American Honda Senior Vice President, Ray Blank, via press release. “We are very excited to be road racing again in America. This great new production-based world championship format is based on the Honda CBR600RR engine platform, so it’s a natural for our participation.”

The Red Bull Indianapolis GP will run August 27-29 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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