Yamaha British superbike star James Haydon has signed to ride with Carl Fogarty’s Petronas team in WSB for 2002.
Haydon will be replaced in the Virgin Yamaha line-up by Simon Crafar, making a return to racing after two years in the wilderness.
The Haydon signing has come about because of Foggy’s desire to sign a Brit and also because Haydon has earned a reputation for being a hard rider… much as Foggy saw himself.
Foggy said: " I have been impressed with James for some time, he rides the bike hard and that is what we need for this project. We need the machine to be pushed to the limits.
" He has had the right attitude, right from the very first discussions we have had with him. He realises what an exciting opportunity this is and he wants to make the best of his chance. "
You can ask Foggy yourself about this signing in a live web chat on this site, on Wednesday at 1pm.
Haydon said: " This is a one-off opportunity and a great chance. I have been working hard to go into a world championship for the last few years and I would like to thanks Rob McElnea and everyone at Yamaha, Virgin and AIWA for allowing me to take this fantastic opportunity. "
Haydon finished fourth in the British superbike series last year and was the highest finishing rider of a four-cylinder bike.
New Zealander Crafar will now be the man to develop the Yamaha R1 in the British superbike championship.
" Niall Mackenzie planted the seed in my mind about coming over here to race. It wouldn’t go away and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. "