The following table compares the performance of 2010 rookie Ben Spies over his first 14 starts in MotoGP to that of Nicky Hayden in 2003.
Hayden's 2003 season is the best by a rookie MotoGP rider, without previous grand prix experience in the 250cc class, since the start of the four-stroke era in 2002.
Hayden entered MotoGP with no previous grand prix experience, having previously raced in the American Superbike series.
Spies has joined from the World Superbike Championship, but his first 14 starts include the four MotoGP races he entered prior to 2010 - three with Suzuki (2008) and one on a Yamaha (2009).
Compared with Hayden, Spies has the advantage of racing at a number of circuits he rode on in WSBK.
On the other hand, Spies is a satellite Yamaha rider, while Hayden entered MotoGP as an official factory Honda rider, alongside Valentino Rossi.
Hayden finished fifth in the final 2003 championship standings. Spies is presently seventh.
Nicky Hayden, Ben Spies - first 14 MotoGP races:
Nicky Hayden: 1
(top six) 5th
(best qualifying) 114
Ben Spies: 1
(top six) 2nd
(best qualifying) 119