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Nicky Hayden talks 2009.

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 [2002], 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.

Related Pictures

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Hayden, Indianapolis MotoGP 2008
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Ducati team, German MotoGP 2017
Cal Crutchlow with new Honda fairing at Assen.
Hayden`s number on Miller’s glove, Catalunya MotoGP Race 2017
Repsol honda mechanic, Catalunya MotoGP 2017
Rabat, Pol Espargaro, Catalunya MotoGP 2017
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Marquez braking, Smith Catalunya MotoGP 2017
Brembo brake on Honda Moto3 bike, Catalunya Moto3 2017
Brake on Honda Moto3 bike, Catalunya Moto3 2017
Honda Moto3 bike, Catalunya Moto3 2017
Honda Moto3 bike, Catalunya Moto3 2017
Honda Moto3 bike, Catalunya Moto3 2017
Smith, Pedrosa Catalunya MotoGP 2017
Nakagami, Idemitsu Honda Moto2 bike, Catalunya Moto2 2017
Darryn Binder wearing a Hayden rep, Italian Moto3 Race 2017

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dfh - Unregistered

September 12, 2008 2:00 AM

Tyke, I am a Stoner fan, but that doesn't stop me wanting to see Hayden kick some next year. I want to see Nicky challenge for the championship on the Ducati with RACE WINS- to erase the taint that his '06 championship was the result of pointscoring, not performance. I want to see Nicky beat Pedrosa & rub his little nose in it. But most of all I want to see Nicky humiliate the Repsol/Honda/Michelin team. Those w*^kers have destroyed GP racing from "special" tyres for Doohan to maintain his dominance, to pushing out Nastro Azzuro & Movistar as big time sponsors, to Honda manipulating the tech regs (990's & 800, killing off 250's) to their advantage. Go Nicky, rub their noses in it!

Aelange .

September 12, 2008 12:38 AM

Here''s to next year Nicky! There are few races coming up that he''s always been good at, so let''s hope Michelin can get it together and give Hayden a couple more podium finish in his last few races with Honda. For all his loyalty he gave them through his years, Honda lost a good one! But I guess it was the bike development that dictates a lot of the rider''s placement. Dani is more of an ideal rider for the Honda, and if Dani can win races with it, of course Honda will support him. But they burnt their bridges with Nicky, for sure. It''s going to be funny thinking of Nicky as anything other than a Honda man. Let''s hope that Ducati is a beast again next year!

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