PADDOCK RUMORS and QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED
There’s so much going on right now, here comes a tidal wave of PADDOCK RUMORS and QUESTIONS THAT NEED TO BE ANSWERED.
PADDOCK RUMORS: Nicky Hayden will not be on a Ducati next year, instead he will make his way over to World SuperBike where he’ll spend a year, maybe two in an attempt to win a World SuperBike Championship which will make him the only American to win both a WSBK and MotoGP World Championships. After his run with WSBK he will come back to the US to run in the AMA Pro SuperBike series. Nicky has always been one to give back to the sport and nothing would help American Road Racing more than having Nicky Hayden on the AMA Pro SuperBike grid. Colin Edwards became a professional motorcycle racer at 16, he’s 39 now which means that after 23 years he has the longest running professional motorcycle racing career of any American in the history of motorcycle racing. Congratulations Colin, we have loved being along for the ride. Edwards is expected to retire after this season; it would be really cool to see him on the AMA Pro Grid but you’ll be more likely to find him shooting guns and popping wheelies at the Texas Tornado Boot Camp. Jake Gagne and JD Beach are looking at Moto2 rides. It’s no secret that Danny Walkers plan has always been to get his boys through the ranks and put them in a position to race Moto2. If the opportunity is there, they will take it and not be racing in the US in 2014. Josh Hayes is locked up with Yamaha for 2014 but Josh Herrin is not. Rumors circulated last year about a possible Moto2 team for Herrin but he ended up staying here in the US. Herrin is a very talented rider who has produced some good results this year but the elephant in the room is Cameron Beaubier. After 2 years of dominating the DSB class where he has nothing left to prove, where does Cameron Beaubier go? MotoGP with no seat time on a 1 liter? No. Moto2? It’s a Honda spec class which means his relationship with Yamaha doesn’t really help him. So no on that one. World SuperBike? Probably not because Cameron Beaubier is a work in progress, he’s smart, patient and knows that, he’s not trying to go to MotoGP tomorrow he’s putting his time in and honing his craft. His next logical steps are AMA Pro SuperBike in 2014, MotoGP satalite team in 2015 then onto MotoGP in 2016.
QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED: So where does this put Herrin? If the Moto2 deal from last year doesn’t come back into play then we might see Herrin make his way over to Larry Pegrams team. What?? Larry Pegram doesn’t have riders on his team! He doesn’t right now but at some point Larry Pegram is going to make the next step in his career when he goes from his current duties of “all the above” to just being the team owner/manager. When he does this he will need someone else behind the bubble. Josh Herrin and his R1 experience makes the most sense. What about the GEICO Honda team? I have 7 words for you: PUT THE WOLVERINE ON THE ONE LITER. Period, end of story, I have no idea why this didn’t happen for 2013 but I can definetly see better results for GEICO Honda in 2014 with Dane the Wolverine Westby man handling 1000cc’s of Honda engineering. He’s built like a linebacker, he’s consistently in the top 6 in the ultra competitive DSB class, he’s earned it and he should be on that bike. My guess is, he will be. There are so many questions to be answered, who takes over the DSB class if Beaubier and Gagne move on? Who graduates from Supersport to DSB and lands on a good team? Will Joe Roberts race in the US or across the pond? We will have to pick this up where we left off in the next Paddock Rumors post. Jon Boucher