Josh Hayes to replace Colin Edwards in Valencia

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Double American Superbike champion Josh Hayes will replace injured Colin Edwards in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad for this weekend’s final MotoGP round at Valencia.

Texan Edwards has been forced to withdraw from what would have been his final appearance for Yamaha because of injuries he sustained in an accident during the Sepang MotoGP race in Malaysia eight days ago that left popular Italian rider Marco Simoncelli fatally injured.

Edwards suffered multiple fractures to the top of his left humerus bone, which connects the shoulder to the elbow, in the second lap crash at Sepang that also involved factory Ducati rider Valentino Rossi.

He needs cartilage re-attaching to the humerus bone in an operation at the University General Hospital in Houston tomorrow and the four-week recovery period means he will miss Sunday’s Valencia race. The 37-year-old will also be absent from the post race test at the Ricardo Tormo circuit. The double World Superbike champion was due to make his debut on the Suter/BMW 1000cc machine for the Forward Racing squad.

Hayes, who won his second successive American Superbike crown for the Monster Energy Graves Yamaha Team in a dramatic final round in New Jersey, was due to test the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine the day after Sunday's final race.

Yamaha US and Monster Energy arranged the test appearance to reward Hayes for capturing the American Superbike title for the second year in succession in 2011.

Hayes will now join British rider Cal Crutchlow when practice for the Valencia round gets underway on Friday morning.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt