"My needs and requirements are different than hers even though we are doing the same thing and we both need to be able to stand back and try to help each other be the best. She is involved enough to understand that there are things I need to go do and she is very, very good with it. It's very difficult for family because there are important things that happen in our lives that sometimes happen at the worst times. Having a job as a motorcycle racer... well, it's not one where I can miss a day of work for much of anything - be it a funeral, a wedding, the birth of a child. If I want to have a career as a motorcycle racer, you can't walk away and say, 'I'm not racing today because my son is being born.' I think all of us racers who have healthy marriages and relationships are very lucky in the people that we find."

Now Hayes just has to get used to stardom as he enters the season as the defending AMA Superbike Champion. Though we're not completely sure that he'll ever stop thinking of himself as just a regular guy who rides a motorcycle pretty good.

"I saw a photo on Superbike Planet and it was a shot going away, wheel-ieing," Hayes said. "I looked at the shot and went, 'Wow, that's a really cool shot.' For whatever reason, I thought to myself, 'I remember seeing a shot like that in a magazine and going - man, what is going through that guy's mind right there? That's the coolest thing I've ever seen.' Well now that picture is a picture of me and there are people who follow our series and see stuff like that. it's pretty amazing to me that someone could be out there looking at a picture of me and going through the same emotions that I went through when I saw something like that. Pretty regularly I feel overwhelmed by it all and how cool it is."

how they rate

Josh Hayes doesn't pull any punches when it comes to telling you the strengths and weaknesses of his competition. He's a man who does his homework.

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