During the pre-event press conference at Indianapolis, 2006 world champion Nicky Hayden confirmed that he won't be riding for Honda next season and gave a revealing glimpse into life at HRC's factory team.
Hayden, who has been with Repsol Honda since his 2003 MotoGP debut, will join Ducati Marlboro next season, where he will ride alongside 2007 world champion Casey Stoner - although the move is still to be officially announced.
"It's looking like World Superbike with Aprilia," Hayden joked, when asked about 2009.
"It's no secret; everybody knows where my next stop is going to be," continued Nicky, without actually naming Ducati. "But officially we're waiting on to do it the right way until the releases come out because there's teams and stuff.
"I'm looking forward to it. I know it's going to be a big change for me, and hopefully probably in the next, you know, [the] announcement will be coming soon.
"I have had a long history with Honda, and I don't have - sure, things here lately have kind of went, you know, kind of turned ugly with everything going on, all the drama. But still, we've had a lot of good races together, won championships in the AMA , and obviously the world championship was the big one.
"Sure, every day wasn't just a big holiday but we had some good days, and I'm really grateful for the opportunity they gave me. But I think it's, you know, it's time to move on, try something different. But we'll worry about that later and for now just focus on this weekend and try to go out in a good way together."
Many consider that Hayden hasn't received the backing he deserves from Honda since the arrival of former 125 and double 250cc world champion Dani Pedrosa in 2006 - and cite the Spaniard's shock mid-season switch from Michelin to Bridgestone tyres as a prime example of the power Pedrosa and his supporters yield within the team.
Pedrosa will make his Bridgestone debut this weekend at Indianapolis, while Hayden confirmed that he was never asked about the possibility of changing tyre brands - adding that the new wall dividing the Repsol pits, in order to protect tyre data, is nothing new.
"Well, I mean that's quite a touchy subject, but I mean, I was shocked like everybody else - but no, I wasn't asked and I just kind of heard it on the street," said Hayden of Pedrosa's tyre change. "In Misano before the race they told me. I couldn't, you know -- yeah, I think I couldn't believe it, like everyone else. So, yeah, I'm not really sure what's there to say.