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1000cc will be MotoGP lifeline for Brits

"If they limit the 1000cc electronics, Superbike will be a great path to MotoGP and we'll see some Brits back here" - Nicky Hayden.
The switch back to 1000cc engines in MotoGP could open the grand prix door for the pack of young British stars currently making waves in the World Superbike Championship.

That's the opinion of 2006 MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden who, along with 2010 title leader Jorge Lorenzo, has been impressed by several of the leading WSBK Brits this season.

With James Toseland moving back to World Superbike, the UK is without any representation on the 2010 MotoGP grid.

In complete contrast, half of the present WSBK top ten contains British riders under the age of 30, with Leon Haslam (27) holding second in the championship for Suzuki, Jonathan Rea (23) fourth for Honda, Toseland (29) seventh for Yamaha, Leon Camier (23) ninth for Aprilia and Cal Crutchlow (24) tenth for Yamaha.

The trouble in terms of transferring that success into a MotoGP seat is that only three of the present 17 riders are from a Superbike, rather than 250cc, background: Hayden and fellow Americans Ben Spies and Colin Edwards.

Reigning WSBK champion Spies has already taken a podium finish this year and looks set to be a future MotoGP star, but at present Hayden is the only one of the trio to have won a grand prix.

Hayden's three race wins all came while riding one of the previous 990cc motorcycles, which had more in common with SBK than the heavily electronic-dependent and easily 'upset' 800s.

As such, the Ducati Marlboro star advises any WSBK Brits with MotoGP ambitions to wait until the end of the 800cc era, which is due to conclude in 2011.

"There are fast Brits in the world. Toseland was so close to breaking through and establishing himself in MotoGP - and in World Superbike there are some Brits 'doing it'," began Hayden.

"I think Superbike is not the best breeding ground for MotoGP at the moment," he warned. "It's still possible to come through Superbike, but 125 and then Moto2 is the best option.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Haslam, Rea, Byrne, Toseland, Sykes, Crutchlow, Australian WSBK 2010
Nicky Hayden - A tribute
Private testing action from Barcelona
Morning (left) and afternoon (right) lap times from Weds at Barcelona test
Marquez fall at private Barcelona test
Barcelona Circuit of Catalunya chicane final sector
New Catalunya chicane during private test
New chicane in use at Catalunya MotoGP test
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July 09, 2010 1:34 PM

"It's going to take British team owners to get a Brit on the grid is seems. Americans get a shot because of the motorcycle sales level there." No it's not going to take a Brit team owner. It's going to take the same thing that got the Americans there - WINNING. How did James get his shot? He won 2 titles. How did Colin and Ben get there shot? They won titles. James has been the last brit because he was the only one who deserved a shot. What Brit has won anything recently that should have gotten a shot at GPs? And when are you dumb bells going to realize bike sales and MotoGP riders have nothing in common? And why are only the Americans (from the country with the less amount of GP interest) credited with getting their riders because of "bike sales". If "bike sales" meant so much their would be at least one rider from South America, at least one from Africa, and more than one from Asia.

Screechin' Weasel - Unregistered

July 09, 2010 6:17 PM

@wr86: The AMA WAS the most respected domestic series in the world, once upon a time. It has been in decline for a decade or more, and the sale of the series to Daytona Motorsports Group was the final nail in the coffin, marking the death of its relevance.

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