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Nicky Hayden’s CRF450R Ride at Del Mar Signals Change

Last year, Nicky Hayden’s brother, Tommy, rode a modified Yamaha YZ426F to victory in a national flat track series event for single-cylinder machines — a series traditionally dominated by Rotax-powered bikes. Now, Honda announces that Nicky Hayden will be riding its new motocrosser, the CRF450R, in slightly modified form at the Del Mar short track event this evening (assuming practice went well today).

Could Honda get involved more seriously in flat track racing on the CRF450R? If the bike proves competitive, it is a possibility. Clearly, Nicky Hayden will ride the bike more than once. It doesn’t have the displacement of the Rotax (a 600), but the power should be competitive. It will be interesting to watch.