18 October 2016
MotoGP Australia: Nicky Hayden in for Pedrosa at Phillip Island
"It's pretty emotional to even think about it" - After an eight-year absence Nicky Hayden returns to Repsol Honda, in place of the injured Dani Pedrosa, at the Australian MotoGP!
Former MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden will replace the injured Dani Pedrosa in the Repsol Honda team at Phillip Island.
Pedrosa is recovering after sustaining a broken collarbone in a huge high-side during practice for the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi.
Honda World Superbike rider Hayden, who filled in for Jack Miller at Aragon in the Marc VDS team, says he is delighted to have the chance to return to 'my old dream team'.
Hayden began his MotoGP career at Repsol Honda in 2003, going on to claim three wins, 25 podiums and the 2006 world title during six seasons at the squad. He is also something of a specialist at Phillip Island with three podiums, two poles and a fastest lap.
“First of all my best wishes to Dani, I'm sure he will come back stronger than ever like he always does,” Hayden said. “For me it's crazy hard work but it's a chance, ten-years after winning my World title, to get back to my old dream team!
“Doing a weekend in Phillip Island on a factory Honda, it's pretty emotional for me to even think about it and I'm very grateful for this opportunity and the trust that Honda gives me.
"I want also to thank my current team for allowing me to go and do this and the sponsors.
“Everybody worked a lot on every detail to make it possible for me, so now I'm excited to get on a plane, get down to Phillip Island and hopefully I can do a good job for the team,” he added.
“Regarding Phillip Island there are two things to always consider, the weather and the tyres, but it's a track I love and I can't wait to ride the bike there. Let's get started on Friday morning and go forward.”
HRC test rider and former 250cc world champion Hiroshi Aoyama replaced Pedrosa for the remainder of the Motegi weekend, qualifying last and finishing 15th in the race.
Hayden, fifth overall with one win so far in his rookie WorldSBK season, finished 15th on the satellite Marc VDS bike at Aragon.
Meanwhile, Pedrosa has left the Universitari Dexeus Hospital, where he underwent successful surgery to his right collarbone last Saturday. He will have a follow-up appointment with his doctors on Wednesday.
“I felt a strong pain for a few days after the operation, but things are starting to get a little bit better now,2 Pedrosa said. "I left the hospital and I have a check-up scheduled for Wednesday. Only after that will I have a better idea about the recovery time and about when I'll be able to get back on my bike. I wish also to congratulate Marc and Honda for the title achievement.”
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