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Hayden compared with Melandri.

Nicky Hayden's troubled first five races for the Ducati Marlboro Team have yielded just 13 points, compared with 24 for his predecessor Marco Melandri and 38 for Casey Stoner's 2007 team-mate Loris Capirossi at the same point in the season.

Melandri's 24 points were a result of finishing all of the first five races of 2008, including a season's best fifth at Shanghai. However, the Chinese Grand Prix is not present on the 2009 calendar, while Estoril (round three of last season) has effectively swapped places with Motegi this season.

Interestingly, if Hayden's points at the five events held so far this year - Qatar, Japan, Spain, France and Italy - are compared with Melandri's score at those same circuits last year, then the two riders are exactly equal (on 13 points).

Hayden, who was injured during qualifying at the Qatar season opener, has claimed a best finish of twelfth on three occasions with the GP9, including last Sunday's Italian Grand Prix. In addition, the American has suffered one DNF and one 15th place.

Melandri's best race result at those events on the GP8 was eleventh (Qatar) and he also suffered one DNF, failing to finish at Mugello.

Capirossi, who became the only rider other than Stoner to win an 800cc race at Motegi in 2007, claimed 46 points at the same five events on the title winning Desmosedici GP7.

Ominously for Hayden, who has been given a new crew chief to try and help him adapt to the Desmosedici, no team-mate has yet lasted more than a season alongside Stoner at Ducati.

After five rounds, Hayden is 15th in the championship and 77 points behind Stoner, compared with 13th and 32 points behind for Melandri in 2008 and 7th and 64 points behind for Capirossi in 2007.

Melandri went on to finish 17th in the championship before joining Hayate, while Capirossi concluded his Ducati career with seventh in the 2007 standings before switching to Suzuki.

Meanwhile, Melandri's 2009 revival on the unsupported ZX-RR has seen the Italian double his 2008 points tally after the first five rounds to 48, including his shock second place finish at Le Mans, to hold sixth in the championship.

Comparing the same five rounds with last year, Melandri is 35 points better off.

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RanD1215 - Unregistered

June 03, 2009 1:38 PM

For Samas. Yes, I agree that they only have one thing in common. And Marco does have talent. But Nicky has a MotoGP Championship (luck or not). At the end of the day and years down the road, he will always be a World Champion.


June 03, 2009 12:07 PM

And to think the bosses at ducati told Marco it was all in his head - even sent him to a shrink! Theres a headf**k for you ... your dream bike but your too s**t to ride it. Wow hope marco can see the funny side now.

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