Four-time AMA Superbike Champion and Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha Factory rider Josh Hayes fulfilled a lifelong dream on Monday when he strapped into the cockpit of the #7 U.S. Navy Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornet piloted by Lt. Tyler Davies and took to the skies over Pensacola and the Gulf of Mexico.
Josh enjoyed the thrill of a lifetime as Lt. Davies deftly flew his Blue Angels fighter jet through a series of aerobatic maneuvers, including barrel rolls, loops, inverted flying, high- and low-speed passes and tight turns.
“Today was definitely one of those bucket-list experiences,” Hayes said after he and Lt. Davies touched back down at Pensacola Naval Air Station following the flight. “I’ve always been a huge aviation buff, and when I was a kid, I used to dream of someday being a fighter pilot. In fact, that’s why I started riding and racing motorcycles, for that feeling you get from going fast and maneuvering the bike through the turns. To me, it’s the next best thing to flying. I’ve watched that Blue Angels video with the soundtrack of Van Halen’s “Dreams” about a thousand times. Well, today, that dream came true for me.”
A video crew from BeIN Sports was on-hand to document Hayes’s Blue Angels experience, and the footage will be broadcast on a future episode of the network’s Tuesday night “Pit Lane” program, with the airdate to be announced. Some of the footage will also be shown during BeIN Sports’ broadcast of the final round of the 2016 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship from New Jersey Motorsports Park on Sunday, September 11.