Yet another top talent entering MotoGP
Josh Herrin will become a new American face in the World Championship in 2014, joining the debutant Caterham Moto Racing outfit in the Moto2™ class. The Californian hopes to witness a United States resurgence over coming years
Between 1978 and 1993, over 80% of the premier class crowns on offer went the way of American riders thanks to Kenny Roberts, Freddie Spencer, Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey and Kevin Schwantz. Since then, only two titles have headed to the US courtesy of Kenny Roberts Jr. and Nicky Hayden, respectively. With Hayden now switching to Power Electronics Aspar and Herrin joining Caterham in Moto2™, the latter hopes for a USA rebirth in the World Championship.
"I would like to say so," Herrin said during a video interview ahead of the Valencia season-finale earlier this month. "I think Nicky is going to do a lot better next year – I hope he does. At the same time, I hope I can do well and open the tunnel again for Americans to come over here. I think it would be good because we have a lot of young talent that nobody really sees. To have guys like Joe Roberts in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup is great for us, but hopefully I can make it even clearer that we are good and that we can keep up with the guys over here to get a few more [Americans] over in the next few years."
For his Moto2™ introduction in 2014, Herrin looks forward to partnering France’s Johann Zarco who ended this season with a strong podium finish in Valencia.
"He has been on a Suter before, which is the chassis we will be running, so it will be nice to see what his feedback is on our bike," Herrin explained. "Maybe it will be a little bit different, but we will be able to see how it works in general and - based on times - how far off we were in comparison with him this year. He’s a great guy and I’m excited to be teammates with him for next year."
Herrin, 23, will make his World Championship debut as the reigning AMA Superbike Champion. Prior to that, at the age of 19 he become the second-youngest rider to claim victory in the prestigious Daytona 200 of 2010. He now continues to evaluate options for next year in terms of base, set to relocate to Europe from the Unites States.