Nicky Hayden admits it's hard to hear other riders being linked to his Ducati MotoGP seat for 2010, but has been in the business long enough not to take it too personally.

Honda's 2006 world champion moved to Ducati this season on a two-year contract, but with the second-year 'option' to be decided by Ducati by early September.

As yet, Hayden - who sits just 14th in the championship with a best race finish of fifth, but is the second best Desmosedici rider after absent team-mate Casey Stoner - is still in limbo as he waits to hear one way or the other.

The good news for Nicky is that Jorge Lorenzo has turned down a big-money offer from Ducati - rumoured to be between 6.5 and 8 million euros a year - to stay at Yamaha, meaning that the top three riders in the world championship - Valentino Rossi (Yamaha), Lorenzo and Stoner - are all signed for next season.

"The only announcement really is Lorenzo is not taking my place," smiled Nicky, when asked about his future at Indianapolis on Thursday. "But that announcement, I guess, was last week. So I don't expect anything this week. The due date [for the second year option to expire] is next week, so we'll know something then maybe."

But Lorenzo is not the only rider to have been linked with Ducati.

In the days since the Spaniard signed, Dani Pedrosa's name has been mentioned in connection with the team, while Loris Capirossi dropped something of a bombshell by revealing that Ducati had approached him about returning to the team he raced for from 2003-2007. Capirossi will however stay at Suzuki in 2010.

When asked if it was hard to concentrate with so much speculation, Hayden replied:

"You know, I've been in this game long enough, I realise, like it or not, MotoGP is a business and, I mean, you look at the result sheets, maybe my results wouldn't -they've got sponsors, people to please. I realise that I probably made some hard phone calls on Monday with some of them 12th places.

"So do I like it? No, because it's - when I look in the mirror, I see why they need to bring somebody else in because I haven't got the results. So that hurts when it's on the inside. But, you know, it's business. They've got to do what they feel best."

Since joining MotoGP in 2003, Ducati has changed one rider from its factory line-up every year except 2004, when the team stuck with Capirossi and Troy Bayliss.

Stoner, who joined Ducati at the start of the 800cc era in 2007, has been partnered by Capirossi, Marco Melandri and now Hayden - all of whom have struggled to get near the Australian, a winner of 18 races and a world championship. Of the three, only Capirossi took a podium finish (and win) while alongside Stoner.

"I don't know if just bringing in new guys every year is the right thing, you know, if it is the best way to fix the situation," Hayden continued. "So we'll see what happens. I'm still - I signed up for two years, so I still got this challenge and really feel like we can do it.

"I'm not ready to give up just yet. So we'll see what happens. If it works out, do I get my feelings hurt? No, I'm not that big a sissy. I mean they make me that offer they made Lorenzo, then all things will be forgotten!" he joked. "Eight million a year will patch things up pretty easy, so we'll be good!"

When asked about how hard it would be to switch manufacturer now that winter testing has been severely reduced, Hayden indicated that the real question is whether a rider is changing from Japanese to Italian machinery.

"Switching to Honda or Yamaha is not the big change like going to Ducati or something completely different," he said to laughter from the press. "Obviously, that's my opinion. If you look at it, the Japanese bikes all work in a similar way and do similar things; where Ducati is, you know, it's a different manufacturer, I would say. Would be the same if you're on 250cc Yamaha, Honda and you went to Aprilia."

Despite the uncertainty surrounding his MotoGP future, Hayden - who finished second in last year's storm-shortened inaugural Indy event - is fully focused on this weekend's event.

"On race day you're not thinking about that, really," he declared. "I mean, yeah, you want a job, you want to do your best, but you can't just drive yourself crazy with it. That's not going to change the situation. I've tried that before and it don't help. So it will work itself out, I'm sure."


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