After a four race absence, former world champion Nicky Hayden will return to MotoGP action at Aragon this weekend.

The Drive M7 Aspar rider has been sidelined since a second round of surgery on his right wrist in July, involving the removal of some small bones, but now feels ready to test himself on a MotoGP bike at a circuit where he stood on the podium in 2010.

"I am really happy to finally return to action this weekend," said the American. "Racing motorcycles is not only my job but my passion and it hasn't been easy for me to miss so many races. I just focused on getting back as quickly as possible but riding a MotoGP is not something you can test your fitness for until you try it.

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"I have been riding quite a bit of dirt-track lately but I can't say for sure how strong I am so I am looking forward to getting on the bike and seeing the results of the operation. At the moment I don't want to set any objectives other than to get back out there and see how I feel. I am looking forward to seeing the team again and I can't wait to get back to the serious work on Friday.

"My arm and wrist feel quite strong and the movement has improved. I didn't want to come back until I knew I had done everything I could to recover and I am happy with the result. I managed to get on the podium the first year we raced at Motorland, I quite like the circuit and it has some fun corners."

Hayden, who has a best race finish of eighth this year, had been replaced by Leon Camier. Hayden is in the first year of a two-year Aspar deal and is expected to be joined by Eugene Laverty in 2015, when the Open class Hondas will be powered by this year's RC213V engines.

Laverty's deal is due to be confirmed this weekend.


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Haven't heard Nikki's name linked with any rides next year.

Yet... I get slated all the time for trying to get more fans to realise that MotoGP is totally rigged and unfair, with rules that actually AID the factories to dominate, and hamper the smaller teams! Riders like NH are getting screwed, and most of the fanbase seems happy for it to be that way.[\blockquote]

This is surely just a fact of life isn't it?
The best riders will always be on the best factory bikes and the rest will be at a disadvantage. NH was there himself in 2006 - an RC211V that was markedly superior than anything else on the track?
Nicky has had his time in the sun and if he wants to remain with the circus it is inevitable that the package will not be at the same factory level he once enjoyed.