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Nicky Hayden - Q&A

"I've had a lot of discussions with Aprilia and it's a definite possibility but nothing's official yet. The other possibility is a Honda customer bike" - Nicky Hayden.
By Christian Tiburtius

An exclusive interview with 2006 MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden, conducted on the eve of this weekend's Aragon Grand Prix.

Hayden is leaving the factory Ducati team, which he joined from Honda in 2009, at the end of this year…
Hi Nicky, here you are at the track where both Ducatis were last on the podium (in 2010), any chance this time?

Nicky Hayden:
That was a good day. You'd certainly get long odds if you were a betting man for this race though. At this moment it doesn't look so good but anything can happen in racing and we'll see on Sunday. Don't put a whole lot of money on it though.
You've raced in the best factory teams, you're a world champion and you're embarking on a new adventure, what keeps you motivated to keep racing?

Nicky Hayden:
Oh that's clear, I'm a racer and I love doing it. I love the challenge and competition, I even love the hard part; the getting up early, the training, the grind. It's what I do and I still have a strong desire for it for sure.

This year hasn't been a lot of fun but the enjoyment hasn't changed and I'm not ready to give up.
Does the thought of not racing frighten you?

Nicky Hayden:
I would say so, yeah. I still love it and feel I've still got a lot to give so I'm not ready to stop by any means.
What do you feel you've achieved in your time at Ducati?

Nicky Hayden:
Well, unfortunately, not a lot. I've been thrilled with the 5 years I've spent here but I definitely wish that I could have accomplished more and I don't see these years as a big success and unless something changes real quick I won't say that these years have been a real positive for me. It'll be very difficult to get any changes in the near future but we won't stop trying 'til the end.
Have you kept the same crew through you MotoGP career?

Nicky Hayden:
No, during my Honda years they changed once but in my Ducati years they've been more or less always the same, sometimes maybe an engineer might change, the majority has stayed the same though.
Did you feel you had a lot of influence on how the Ducati was developed?

Nicky Hayden:
I would say some influence but I wouldn't say I had a huge influence, no.
Did you find that frustrating?

Nicky Hayden:
Yeah, at times I would have liked more. Of course I would have, it was just that that's the way it worked out.
Did, for example, Jeremy Burgess' efforts make a good difference in the bike for you?

Nicky Hayden:
Of course I have a lot of respect for JB [Valentino Rossi's crew chief] and what he's done. He had a lot of ideas at Ducati, truthfully though we had a lot of problems apart from just set-up issues. We tried a lot of set-up ideas and they didn't really work. This bike is very different to ride and also for engineers so I can't really say that JB ever found some magic breakthrough that really helped us. The problems were harder than just that.
Did any developments from the other side of the pits come over to your side too?

Nicky Hayden:
Yeah, yeah, Ducati is a really open notebook, there really aren't any problems as regards sharing information and that sort of thing.

I've loved it here in that Ducati's a great brand, I won't say anything negative about it especially the fans and the guys I work with in the garage. It's going to be tough to leave them but it's time to move on and try something different. I do wish the results had been better, I learned a lot though and have some great memories, they're a really special group of guys to work with.
Did you feel that it was a disadvantage being Rossi's team-mate when he was at Ducati?

Nicky Hayden:

Tagged as: hayden

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Hayden braking, San Marino MotoGP 2013
Hayden, Catalunya MotoGP 2013
Nicky Hayden - A tribute
`Go Nicky` Hayden sign on starting grid, French MotoGP 2017
`Stay Strong Nicky` Hayden sticker on Marquez`s bike, French MotoGP 2017
`Stay Strong Nicky` Hayden sticker on Marquez`s bike, French MotoGP 2017
`Stay Strong Nicky` Hayden sticker on Marquez`s bike, French MotoGP 2017
`Stay Strong Nicky` Hayden sticker on Pedrosa`s bike, French MotoGP 2017
Sasaki with Hayden`s number, French Moto3 2017
Miller with Hayden`s number on his helmet, French MotoGP 2017
Miller with Hayden`s number on his helmet, French MotoGP 2017
Miller with Hayden`s number on his helmet, French MotoGP 2017
`Thinking of you Nicky` Hayden sign, French MotoGP 2017
Hayden after crash, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Miller Australian MotoGP 2016
Bradl, Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016

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September 27, 2013 11:22 AM

Could any team truly have a better ambassador than Nicky Hayden? Still loyal to Ducati even after being shafted and probably going to a different manufacturer. He gets my vote as a good bloke


September 27, 2013 1:59 PM

There surely is not, never has been or ever shall be a classier rider and human being in a motorcycle racing paddock than Nicky Hayden. Top, top man, great rider and what an ambasador. A credit to the parents that raised him.

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