Former AMA Supersport Champion Roger Lee Hayden has completed the second of three scheduled track tests in advance of his Moto2 debut later this month at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.
Hot, humid weather conditions affected the most recent two-day test conducted last week at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. “We didn’t quite do the times at Barber that we were hoping to do,” admitted Kevin Schwantz, the 1993 500cc world champion and team manager for the American Honda Moriwaki effort. “We tried a lot of suspension changes, which altered the handling of the bike, but they didn’t improve grip.”
Moto2 uses sealed, identically tuned Honda CBR600RR-based engines. Because the actual engine that will be supplied to the team in Indianapolis won’t be made available until just before the race weekend, Erion Racing has modified a production CBR600RR engine to replicate the Moto2 spec.
According to Kevin Erion, engine performance falls well short of the team’s AMA Formula Xtreme title-winning Hondas. Even past Supersport entries made more power. Hayden told Schwantz that the current engine feels “lazy.” Erion is also in charge of setup for the Japanese Moriwaki MD600 chassis. Moriwaki is one of several independent chassis providers to the series. Kayaba has supplied a suspension technician.
Hayden is also familiarizing himself with the series-spec Dunlop slicks, which offer different feel and performance from the Pirellis on which he currently races full-time in World Superbike for Team Pedercini. Hayden’s resume also includes the latest MotoGP Bridgestones; he subbed for injured Frenchman Randy de Puniet on the LCR Honda RC212V at July’s Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, finishing 11th.
Hayden, Schwantz and the Erion Racing crew now head to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for two days of testing on the track’s 2.621-mile roadcourse. Always optimistic, Schwantz said, “Team American Honda Moriwaki is looking forward to Indianapolis and the changing conditions we always see during the MotoGP weekend.”