Despite an impressive start to the 2010 MotoGP season, which saw four fourth-places from the first five races, Nicky Hayden will doubtless be disappointed to be returning to the scene of his debut Ducati podium - at his home Indianapolis round this weekend - without any further top three finishers to his name.

The American has been very close, most notably at round one in Qatar (+0.011) and Silverstone (+0.217) - and he also beat team-mate Casey Stoner fair-and-square in the first two races they both finished this season.

But Stoner has regained the initiative with five podiums in the last five rounds and Hayden, who could be confirmed as a 2011 Ducati rider alongside Valentino Rossi this weekend, will be fired up to continue his perfect podium record at Indy - having finished second in 2008 and third in 2009.

"I really can't wait to get to Indy for the race," said Hayden. "It's such a famous track with so much history and being so close to my home I got a big crew making the trip to support me and my brother [Roger, racing in the Moto2 event].

"The event has really grown a lot in just a few years with the Indy mile dirt track, enduro cross, the stunt shows and all the downtown events, which really gives the fans a chance to make the trip worthwhile."

Hayden chipped his wrist in a practice fall at the previous Brno round, but insists the injury won't be a problem this weekend.

"My broken wrist is better than last week in Brno, which I am very happy about, so we'll see on Friday just how much better. The weather looks good so I hope to come out strong from the gun on Friday and have a weekend worth remembering. Let's get it!" he declared.

"This is one of the most important races of the year for Nicky and definitely the one he looks forward to the most," added team manager Vittoriano Guareschi. "He finished third last year and considering the big steps forward he has made this season, coming close to the podium on several occasions, we hope he can be celebrating a similar result."

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