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Hayden: Move to WSBK is no retirement party

Nicky Hayden has refuted whispers he turned to World Superbikes as a fond farewell before retiring and wants to use 2016 to lay foundations.
Nicky Hayden has refuted whispers he turned to World Superbikes as a fond farewell before retiring from racing and aims to use 2016 as a foundation year for a stronger campaign next season with rumoured new Honda machinery.

The former MotoGP world champion opted to step away from Grand Prix racing at the end of last year after 13 consecutive campaigns and is now preparing for a rookie season in World Superbikes with Honda Racing.

Despite the 34-year-old needing to get to grips with an unfamiliar electronics, tyres and bike set-up – which the American would have also had to do had he stayed in MotoGP with the introduction of the standard ECU and Michelin – Hayden has no ambitions on taking it easy and has plotted out a two-year strategy with lofty aspirations.

“I want to do good, I'm not here to have a retirement or senior tour,” Hayden said. “I want to be as competitive as possible but it is hard to say until I get on track and see where we really stack up. I'm happy to be here, I have a good opportunity and glad to keep racing so I will try to have some fun.

“My fans in America are really behind this change and I hope my goal for the end of the year is to have a smile on my face and be set up for next year with the new bike. I have a two-year deal and I realise I have a lot to learn this year but hopefully it can be to build for next year.”

Hayden replaces Sylvain Guintoli in the Ten Kate Racing-run Honda squad alongside Dutch youngster Michael van der Mark.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Hayden, Jerez WSBK Test Jan 26-26 2016
Hayden, Jerez WSBK test Jan 25-26th 2016
VD Mark, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
VD Mark, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
VD Mark, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Torres, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Torres, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Torres, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Savadori, Jerez WSBK test. November 2016

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cossiegaz

January 30, 2016 9:46 AM

He's just slightly younger than Checa was and near enough the same age as Biaggi was when they joined WSB so as long as Honda or another manufacturer provide him with competitive equipment then there's no reason why he can't have a successful World superbike career.

reinmacre

January 30, 2016 3:35 PM

I'm thinking those last several years on inferior equipment watching guys NH69 knows he's better than putting up results must have bugged the heck out of Nick. Coming from a racing family with lots of pride, Nicky will make the most of his Superbike endeavor. No doubt. P.I. in a month, can't wait.



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