Two-time American Superbike Champion Josh Hayes will make his MotoGP debut in this weekend's Valencia Grand Prix after being drafted in to replace the injured Colin Edwards.
Edwards was involved in the tragic accident which claimed the life of Marco Simoncelli in Sepang and suffered multiple fractures and cartilage damage to his left humerus bone as well as severe bruising and swelling to both wrists and his right heel, necessitating a four-week lay-off.
Hayes clinched the AMA Superbike crown for the second season running this year after a season-long battle with Blake Young, eventually pipping him by five points in New Jersey's final round. The championship also featured the likes of Ben Bostrum and JD Beach who have appeared in the Grand Prix paddock this year and Tommy Hayden, older brother of Ducati MotoGP star Nicky.
Hayes' reward for winning his second AMA title was the chance to test the Tech 3 Yamaha on the Monday following this weekend's race, an opportunity organised by Yamaha US and Monster Energy, sponsors of Tech 3 and Hayes' title winning Graves Yamaha squad.
But with Colin Edwards unable to race this weekend, Hayes will now make his Grand Prix debut at the age of 36, partnering Cal Crutchlow on the 800cc YZR-M1s. Free Practice gets underway at 9:10am UK time on Friday morning.