Nicky Hayden says he's thrilled to see fellow American rider Cameron Beaubier get an opportunity in World Superbikes and feels it is a sign of the upward trend MotoAmerica has started stateside.
The Honda rider was joined at Donington Park by fellow countryman Beaubier on the World Superbike grid as he stepped in for the injured Sylvain Guintoli at Pata Yamaha and after a tricky opener grabbed an impressive top ten finish.
Beaubier, who currently competes in MotoAmerica and is the defending champion, relished the opportunity on the world stage and Hayden says it was an impressive display by the Yamaha rider on debut.
“I think Cameron is fast, I have watched him in MotoAmerica which I follow very closely as he races against my brother [Roger Hayden],” Hayden said. “Normally I will pull against Cameron to support my brother but he is a good kid and I think it is great he got this opportunity.
“I hope in MotoAmerica we can get some young kids through, give them good opportunities and see them rise. PJ Jacobsen is also doing a really good job in World Supersport and putting in a good effort.”
MotoAmerica was set-up at the end of 2014 by triple 500cc world champion Wayne Rainey which aimed to pour new life into the two-wheeled racing scene in the states.
The series, sanctioned by the AMA and FIM, is currently midway through its second season in its current guise with 2010 Moto2 world champion and MotoGP race winner Toni Elias joining the grid for 2016.
Hayden says he's keeping a close eye on the national series and hopes other American riders who enjoy success can forge new opportunities in MotoGP and World Superbikes.
“It is great to see the talent level going up with more competition and more guys going fast,” he said. “The vibe in MotoAmerica seems to have picked up with lots of positive energy. There have been some changes to the calendar, more races added, so it seems to be going good.
“A lot of people expected it to happen overnight but it will take some time. They've got a better TV package now and some good racing. I hope it is on its way to give some of the young kids a good opportunity.”