Nicky Hayden has confirmed that Gigi Dall'Igna's Aprilia departure has forced him to re-evaluate his 2014 MotoGP options.
Dall'Igna is moving from technical and sporting director of Aprilia to become general manager of Ducati Corse.
Hayden was on the brink of moving in the other direction, leaving Ducati to make way for Cal Crutchlow and expecting to race an upgraded Aprilia for the Aspar team.
As he had hinted on Thursday
, the 2006 world champion believed the Aprilia MotoGP ride was “almost a done deal” and confessed to being “shocked” by Dall'Igna's switch.
Hayden joked: “Ducati are not doing me any favours! Not only do they sack me, but they take the guy that was going to be my new engineer!”
Hayden must now decide if the Aprilia MotoGP project will enjoy the same level of support in the post-Dall'Igna era, whilst weighing-up alternative options - most notably the new Honda Production Racer.
“We don't know if Aprilia are still going to make the same commitment [without Dall'Igna]. It was going to be a lot of money, a big project to build a full-on MotoGP bike,” Hayden explained.
“We're definitely considering Honda as an option, which in the long run could turn out better.
“But it's not necessarily [a straight Aprilia/Honda choice]. I mean in the last week everything
“This Honda thing really came back up - there's still a lot of details to sort out, like bike prices and sponsors.
“I've spoken to Livio [Suppo] at Honda, but the [Aspar] team is more discussing with Honda than me. I need to see what bike they want to use.”
Whilst machinery is up in the air, a place at Aspar still looks most likely. “I do have a really good feeling with the Aspar guys,” Hayden said.
Hayden was eighth and the quickest Ducati rider during Friday practice at Sepang.