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Hayden: Rossi won't give up

“Valentino's a fighter. I'm pretty sure he's not going to give up” – Nicky Hayden.
Nicky Hayden doesn't believe that Ducati team-mate Valentino Rossi would actually have pulled into the pits during the season-opening Qatar night race.

Rossi endured a torrid start to the new season in Losail, qualifying twelfth and last of the manufacturer bikes. The seven time MotoGP champion then rose to tenth in the early race laps, before a harsh pass by Hector Barbera dropped him back to twelfth.

The Italian eventually crossed the line in tenth and amongst his harsh post-race comments was the claim: “I thought about pulling into the pits but kept going only out of respect for my team members and to collect data.”

But Hayden, who finished as the top Ducati rider in sixth, doesn't believe Rossi would have thrown in the towel.

“He may have thought to give up, but Valentino's a fighter,” said Hayden at Jerez on Thursday. “I'm pretty sure he's not going to give up. He didn't have a great result but he has nine titles for a reason and I'm sure he's going to find a way back to the front soon.”

Hayden, who beat Rossi to the 2006 title in the only final round showdown since the MotoGP class was formed in 2002, finished almost 30-seconds from victory at Losail and admits the pressure is on at Ducati.

“It's not easy on anybody. But pressure is part of it. If it didn't mean nothing there would be no pressure,” said Hayden, who took his most recent podium in last year's damp Jerez race.

“Ducati deserve good results. They've worked extremely hard with this new bike. Even last week at Mugello they went to a lot of work to prepare me a full bike and a team to go testing, and all we had is rain. It's pretty much the way things are going for us at the moment.

“Hopefully we can turn things around soon and put a smile on the Ducati fans' faces.”

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April 27, 2012 8:17 AM

Nicky Hayden has proved himself, without fail, right from the moment he stepped in to the paddock to be the classiest of all the riders. If ever a man does not get involved in spin or bull then it's him. As a Ducati fan I can say quite happily the very fact that they have Rossi and Nicky riding for them put a smile on my face and I know that it will come good. The two satellite riders are also made of the right stuff. The only other rider I would like to have in the squad , who is not currently on one of the Bologna bikes, is Colin Edwards. He is like the guys who are there already, they ride with honesty, integrity and even when its not going right do not capitulate.

Codger - Unregistered

April 27, 2012 7:56 AM

How predictible, Nicky praises Rossi and immediately there is a queue to rubbish Rossi on here. For my part I hope Hayden has a good race. The recent rain affected test session must have ripped into him, but as Guy says "Hayden is a fighter"

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