For the first time since making his debut in 2003, Nicky Hayden
has concluded a MotoGP
World Championship season without scoring a podium after his final attempt at Valencia was scuppered by an early crash.
A bruising season for Hayden, who suffered spectacular crashes at Indianapolis
and Aragon, the American was hoping to end his year on a high, but was left on the back foot when he was forced to pit at the end of the warm-up lap to switch from a wet-tyre shod Ducati to one with slick tyres.
Forced to play catch up, though Hayden ran with eventual race winner Dani Pedrosa
initially, his attempt recover ground would see him run wide at the final turn and tumble on the slippery surface.
“It's a shame to end a difficult season in a bad way, but at least I'm 100 per cent okay from the crash,” he said. “On the grid, it was a really close call between slick tyres and rain tyres. If the track had been warm, it would clearly have been better to start on slicks, but the cold surface temperature made it close.
“On the warm-up lap, Lorenzo was going faster than us on slicks, so in my opinion, it was the right decision to come in and switch bikes and start from pit lane.
“After that, it was okay on the dry line, but to make passes, you had to go out where it was treacherous. I got behind Petrucci and couldn't find a way past. I was waiting to go by him on the front straightaway, but I got a little bit wide in the last corner and hit a patch. I went down so quickly that there was no way to save it. Next season starts now, so hopefully things will be better.”
Hayden, who will be classified ninth in the overall standings, will enter into his fifth season with Ducati in 2013 alongside new team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.