5 November 2013
Valencia MotoGP: Hayden, Guareschi head for Ducati farewell
"It could be a nice opportunity to bring our adventure to an end and sign off with a good race" - Vittoriano Guareschi.
Nicky Hayden and team manager Vittoriano Guareschi will each close a chapter in their MotoGP careers at Valencia on Sunday.
The event will be their last for Ducati, where former test rider Guareschi has been involved with the Desmosedici project from the start, while Hayden joined from Repsol Honda in 2009.
Guareschi is to run Valentino Rossi's new Moto3 team next season.
“This is the final round of the championship, Nicky's last race with us after five years, and also my last one with Ducati,” he said. “Valencia is a circuit where, in view of its characteristics and numerous 'stop-and-go' sections, our bike goes pretty well, so it could be a nice opportunity to bring our adventure to an end and sign off with a good race.
“I'd also like to add that Valencia is the track where my relation with the Desmosedici began in 2002 and it'll also be where this cycle, full of memories of the last 13 years spent in Ducati, comes to an end.”
After taking 25 podiums - including three wins and a world title - on the RCV, Hayden would have hoped for much more than three podiums and a best of seventh in the standings for Ducati.
But he was the only Ducati team-mate to beat Casey Stoner in a 'fair and square' race and finished just seven points from Rossi in the 2011 season.
Hayden is presently one place behind team-mate Andrea Dovizioso in the 2013 standings.
“I've got some great memories from Valencia,” said Hayden, who snatched the 2006 title from Rossi at the Spanish circuit. “Some people think it's a bit tight for MotoGP, but I actually like it. I think it's a fun, scrappy little track, and in the past, it's been pretty good for Ducati.
“The new pavement is grippy and doesn't have a lot of bumps, which is good for us. We'll see what the weather does. It's the last one of the year, and although we know it'll be tough to do something great, we'll put our heads down, try to have some fun and finish in the best way possible.”
Hayden will be replaced by top satellite rider Cal Crutchlow for 2014, when the American is returning to Honda machinery in the form of the new Production Racer, run by Aspar.
Hayden's Aspar Honda debut will take place during next week's post-race test. Guareschi's replacement is yet to be announced.
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