Ducati Marlboro riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden have both responded to Kawasaki's exit from MotoGP.

During Ducati's 'Wrooom' press ski meeting at Madonna di Campiglio in Italy on Wednesday, the 2006 and 2007 MotoGP world champions were asked for their reaction to the news that Kawasaki will 'suspend' its factory MotoGP activities due to the global financial crises.

"It's shocking to be honest, I really didn't expect it. We are trying to keep as many bikes on the grid as possible. I miss the days when there were 25-30 bikes on the grid," Reuters reports Stoner as saying. "But Kawasaki leaving isn't a reason for everyone to start panicking. I think they are leaving not just because of financial reasons."

New Ducati signing Hayden, whose former employer Honda has been forced to sell its F1 team, said he was thankful that Ducati has the likes of Marlboro to help bankroll its GP project.

The American also believes that rule changes, such as those limiting testing, will help prevent any of the remaining four factories joining Kawasaki on the sidelines.

"We are the lucky ones and have good sponsors," he said. "MotoGP is strong... and has some good people in charge. They are trying to adjust and this year we'll have new rules to save costs and it'll make MotoGP stronger."



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