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Hayden claims first Ducati podium

Nicky Hayden became the first factory Ducati rider other than Casey Stoner to stand on a MotoGP podium since Loris Capirossi in 2007, in front of his home fans in Sunday's Indianapolis Grand Prix.

Second as a Repsol Honda rider in last year's storm-shortened race, Hayden didn't even want to talk about a podium repeat ahead of the 2009 event - after such a tough first season with Ducati.

Hayden came into round twelve with a best finish of fifth and 14th in the world championship, but left with a third place finish and twelfth in the standings.

The American, riding in a special patriotic livery for race day, held his dry-qualifying best of sixth in the early stages, which became fifth and then fourth when Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi crashed ahead of him.

A pass on countryman Colin Edwards put Hayden into a rostrum position by lap 10 of 28, but he had to fight hard to hold off Repsol replacement and 2009 race winner Andrea Dovizioso in the closing stages.

Under intense pressure, Hayden held on to cross the finish line half-a-second clear of the Italian and to cheers of approval from the 75,000 fans.

“It feels great to be on the podium here at Indianapolis and I want to thank all the team, my friends, family and fans for their support,” said Hayden. “It's been a hard season. Certainly been the biggest challenge of my life to try to understand this bike and team, but we've slowly made some progress, progress, progress.

“I didn't want to open my mouth, but I knew I had a chance at the podium today. I knew, like Lorenzo said, that the pace at the front is so high that something could happen, and I had to be there to capitalise on it.

“We were able to put ourself in a good position, caught a couple breaks, couple guys tipped over, and got on the podium, I'm really happy. It's not a win, but it feels really good being up there and spraying the bubbly. I'm just going to try to enjoy it.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Hayden, Indianapolis MotoGP Race 2009
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
Stoner, French MotoGP 2017
Stoner, Tardozzi, French MotoGP 2017
Stoner, 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
Pol Espargaro, Spanish MotoGP 2017
Pedrosa, Dovizioso, Folger Spanish MotoGP 2017
Dovizioso, Lorenzo, Miller MotoGP race Grand Prix Of The Americas 2017

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KenluckyKid - Unregistered

August 31, 2009 2:22 AM
Last Edited 546 days ago

An open letter to Nicky Hayden: I was wrong about you being just lucky. You are a true champion and have worked through the Ducati situation better than any other MotoGP rider other than Casey Stoner. Your enthusiasm for the sport has garnered new fans in the Colonies and sold many products for the sponsors of the sport I love. Your podium finish today was not predicted or expected by me. Let me offer you my congratulations on a job well done. Sincerely, The Kenlucky Kid

The kenlucky Kid - Unregistered

September 01, 2009 7:49 PM

yeah Oboro,even your sorry ash would have beaten Rossi You or anybody could have scored points by just chugging around. What are the odds of happening again? What are the odds of you or anybody "getting points" because a bunch or riders have crashed - alreayd in a thinned grid? Poensgen got points once...she kept it on two wheels while people crashed.But that was once. Yes,you do win by luck-as Hayden cleary has stated his strategy before/after the race "capitalize" on crashes,DNFs, DNS(stoner)and "be there" 06 was the poorest win ratio in history,& loaded with massive luck.Nobody has or may have such luck-ever.Proof is that the X WC wont come close to ever winning the title.

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