Parkalgar Honda has signed American Josh Hayes to race at the final three rounds of the championship as a replacement for Craig Jones.
The team didn’t replace Jones at Donington, but want a competitive rider on their bike for the remainder of the season especially at the team’s home race in Portugal in November.
Hayes currently races in American Supersport and Formula Xtreme classes for the Erion Honda squad. The 33 year old has a proven track record having won the Formula Xtreme title in 2006 and 2007.
Speaking to MCN, Hayes said: “I came to Europe to look at what was available because we’re not sure what is happening in America.
I’ve come away with a three race deal to ride for Parkalgar and although it’s not the circumstances I want to get a ride it will be an honour to ride for the team.”
Hayes had the chance to watch all the WSS sessions and the race, but remained unfazed by the level of competition.
He said: “Having three days of rain is a bit different to what I’m used to but I’ve been told it’s not always like this. It was great to watch the race but it just made me want to get out there. Josh Brookes rode a great race to win it and he has just inspired me for Vallelunga.
"In America I race on a Honda, with Ohlins suspension and Motec electronics so that will be familiar. Now I just need to learn the tyres, the tracks and how the teams work.”
Hayes got his first test on the bike on Tuesday night at Cadwell Park and despite the wet conditions, completed 50 laps during two hours of track time.
Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “Josh got dialled into our bike and the track quickly and we were able to get the bike set-up for him, which should be a big help for when we arrive at Vallelunga next week. He looked good on the bike and posted some pretty reasonable lap times considering it was his first ride on the bike, track and that it was wet.”