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Why the Kawasaki MotoGP Team Should Hire Roger Hayden

After his tenth place finish at Laguna Seca last weekend in his first MotoGP race (on a bike he had only ridden for a couple of hours), young Roger Hayden (23 years old) has to be considered for a full-time MotoGP ride in 2008.

No, it is not Hayden’s performance in a single race that matters (although it helps clarify things). More than once I have heard that Roger Hayden is the most naturally gifted rider of the Hayden brothers (and that includes MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden, as well as former AMA National champ Tommy Hayden).

Roger can get on a bike and go fast very quickly. He can climb a steep learning curve faster than most. His teammate this year, Jamie Hacking, is talented, driven and successful (also a National title holder). Roger Hayden routinely out-rides him despite having far less experience than Hacking.

If Casey Stoner has proven anything this year, it is that a young (Stoner is 21), relatively inexperienced rider with the right amount of natural talent and a strong head can be very successful in MotoGP. We are not saying that Roger Hayden is another Casey Stoner, and it is hard to say how far he might eventually go (another World champ?), but he is the kind of fresh blood MotoGP always needs, and Kawasaki should give him a shot next year (even if it means running a third factory bike).