Sep 9, 2013
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by David Swarts
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GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing: Three-time AMA Pro National Guard Superbike Champion Josh Hayes (1). Photo by Brian J. Nelson/AMA Pro Racing.
Three-time and defending GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro National Guard Superbike Champion Josh Hayes may race with the Monster Energy Yamaha YART (Yamaha Austria Racing Team) in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 2013 Endurance World Championship season finale, September 21-22.
That’s just days after the penultimate round of the 2013 AMA Pro Superbike Championship, September 13-15 at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP), and just days before Hayes concludes his 2013 AMA Pro Superbike season, September 27-29 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, on his Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1.
Hayes is currently third in the AMA Pro Superbike Championship point standings, 16 points behind leader Josh Herrin, Hayes’ teammate. If Hayes can win the 2013 title it will be his fourth consecutive AMA Pro Superbike Championship, something that has never been done in the history of the series.
“There is a discussion with them [Monster Energy Yamaha YART],” Hayes told Roadracingworld.com Monday. “They have announced a few things, but I think that they were a little ambitious in their announcement.
“They called me and said, ‘Do you think you could come and help us try to win a World Championship?’ I said I would love to, but we had an understanding, an agreement that I cannot make a decision until Sunday [September 15 at NJMP], of course with the OK of Yamaha.
“I’ve run it up the flag pole with Yamaha U.S. Of course, the timing of it is very, very difficult because I would fly straight from New Jersey, do that race and then turn around and come straight back to Laguna.
“And before you even ask, I don’t know what the scenario is that I would go and that I would stay. (laughs)
“We’re going to see what happens on the weekend [at NJMP]. Then me and the crew, because I have a lot of respect for those guys, we’re going to sit down and have a discussion and as a team we’re going to make a decision.”
This would not be Hayes’ first foray into International road racing competition.
The “Mississippi Madman” famously filled in for Colin Edwards in the MotoGP race at Valencia in 2011 and rode a Tech 3 Yamaha YZR-M1 to seventh place in his MotoGP debut race.
Hayes finished the 2008 FIM Supersport World Championship with Parkalgar Honda, collecting two top-10s including a fourth-place finish in only three races.
And Hayes also has FIM Endurance World Championship experience. He rode with countryman Jason Pridmore and the Suzuki GB Phase One team in the 24-hour race at Oschersleben in 2003. Suzuki GB Phase One finished second in that race and went on to win the 2003 FIM Endurance World Championship.