Yamaha’s official announcement today that they were unable to sign Jamie Hacking to a 2007 AMA Roadracing contract follows widespread reporting that Hacking is heading to Kawasaki in 2007. Yamaha revealed that it matched a financial offer that was received by Hacking, but could not guarantee him a superbike ride in 2007.
Hacking was on fire in 2006 — taking both the Supersport and Superstock championships for Yamaha in dominating fashion. He could be what Kawasaki needs to move its AMA Superbike program to the next level. Kawasaki struggled all year with its new ZX-10R superbike. The Hayden brothers never found the right setup, and Hacking could be key to next year’s effort to develop the ZX-10R into a superbike winning machine.
If Hacking is known for anything, it is his “grit and determination” (to quote the Yamaha press release issued earlier today). The guy hates to lose, and he now has years of experience developing new motorcycles into championship winning machines (including this year’s Yamaha R6).