Onboard Video: One Lap Aboard The 2017 Yamaha YZF-R6 At Thunderhill Raceway Park

Chasing Josh Hayes on Yamaha’s latest middleweight.

On Wednesday a handful of North American moto journalists were treated to a day lapping Thunderhill Raceway Park aboard the 2017 Yamaha YZF-R6. The Yamaha Factory road race team was on hand testing earlier in the week with superbike pilots Cameron Beaubier and Josh Hayes staying on for a bit of on-track play with the journalists.

This presented a chance to catch up with 4-time AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes. A decade ago I participated in my last AMA national. I rode an Erion Racing prepped Honda CBR600RR in the 2007 Daytona Supersport race and wrote a Cycle World feature titled "Rust Removal," chronicling my return from a lengthy racing hiatus. Hayes was the lead rider on the Erion Racing squad at the time and I recall he had not only welcomed me into the team pit for the week, but had been very gracious in sharing his knowledge of the circuit and the team bikes.

Time flies as 10 years have whizzed by since I last spoke with Hayes in person. For all his race victories and championships amassed since those days, the man remains the same pleasant person I remember. I didn’t need to be asked twice when Josh suggested we do some lead follow aboard a pair of new YZF-R6 fitted with Bridestone Battlax R10 radials.

Look for my First Ride impression of the 2017 Yamaha YZF-R6 to be posted following the weekend. In the meantime we hope you enjoy this onboard POV video as much as I enjoyed riding in the wheel tracks of a true blue champion.