Hayden, already tabbed to ride American Honda’s Moto2 wildcard entry at the Indianapolis Grand Prix, will ride the LCR Honda RC212V at Laguna Seca.
“First of all I want to wish Randy a speedy recovery. It’s never nice to see another rider on the sidelines due to injury,” says Hayden, who is also currently under contract with the Pedercini Kawasaki World Superbike team. “I’m very happy that LCR has choice me to fill in for Randy this weekend at Laguna Seca. It is a track I like a lot and I hope to do a good job for the Team and for all the American fans. I want to thank team Pedercini for giving me the ok, and everyone else involved to make this great opportunity happening.”
De Puniet will require about six weeks to recover from a broken leg suffered in a crash at the German Grand Prix. The French rider underwent two hours of surgery as doctors inserted a titanium rod into his leg to support the fracture.
“As riders we always risk crashing and breaking something, but it’s always when you are not thinking about crashing that you do. After the crash when Kalio involuntarily hit my leg I immediately understood that I had a serious problem,” says de Puniet. “But the surgery went very well and now I am feeling better. I want to thank Doctor Costa and all the medical staff here for the good job they did. They say that I need six weeks recovery period to start racing again but I will try my best to be back in Brno.”
The 2010 USGP will be Hayden’s second MotoGP race, having finished tenth in the 2007 race at the Monterey, Calif., circuit on a Kawasaki. Lucio Cecchinello, LCR Honda team manager, selected Hayden after consulting two expert opinions: Hayden’s brother Nicky Hayden and team manager of American Honda’s Moto2 entry, Kevin Schwantz.
“Thanks to the cooperation from Nicky Hayden and Kevin Schwantz, we went for the best choice: Roger Lee Hayden,” says Cecchinello. “He has plenty of experience at Laguna Seca race track and we will do our best to support him.”
If de Puniet’s recovery follows the estimated six-week window, he will also miss the Aug. 15 Brno round in the Czech Republic and the Aug. 29 Indianapolis round. Both races fall inside the WSBK season’s mid-season break, so Hayden may be available over that period, though LCR Honda is likely to choose a different rider for Brno, while at Indianapolis, Hayden may be occupied with the Moto2 race.