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.