Nicky Hayden, who spent his first season in MotoGP
as team-mate to Valentino Rossi
at Repsol Honda in 2003, gave an entertaining response when asked about riding alongside the seven-time MotoGP
champion again at Ducati next season.
"The last time we were team-mates I took him under my wing a little bit," joked the American, speaking during the press conference at this weekend's Valencia season finale.
"I was coming from America with a lot of experience, so I think I helped him a lot and kinda showed him the way.
"I was really open. I didn't mind sharing my information with him, so I hope to do the same this time [laughs].
"I helped him with everything - a lot with his race craft," he continued. "See, that's what he really needed some tweaking on!
"I taught him how to deal with the fans too. Really I think I'm responsible for a lot. I take a lot of pride in that."
Valentino Rossi, who was also at the press conference and clearly amused by Hayden's comments (pictured), will make his Ducati debut during testing on Tuesday.
Rossi won nine races and his third consecutive world title in 2003, when Hayden took his first two podiums and was the top rookie, with fifth in the championship.
Hayden later beat Rossi, who moved to Yamaha in 2004, to the 2006 title.