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"Hayden (as a mid pack runner) was a strategic acquisition that helped open the North American market."
Open up?? Do you think Ducati has just started selling bikes in North America? Where do you think Ducati has been selling most of their bikes for the last upteen years?
If Nicky Hayden walk down any street in the US besides his home town with "Nicky Hayden" across his forehead and across his back no one would know who he was. Why do you think Biaggi has a house in California and Rossi and the like love vactions here in the States? No one bothers them because no one knows who they are.