Nicky Hayden is having a miserable year. No doubt about it. Defense of his championship is completely lost, and he has a single podium (third place) and nothing else so far, after nine MotoGP rounds.
That podium, however, came last weekend at Assen. Although it didn’t end well, Hayden also rode with some of his old flare two weeks ago at Donington Park. The U.S. round at Laguna Seca is just three weeks away. Can Nicky win there again?
Hayden loves Laguna Seca. He probably has more laps around that track than anyone in MotoGP, and it is his home race. It is also where he won his first MotoGP race. If his title defense is lost, Hayden could salvage something from this season by winning at Laguna Seca.
Hayden stayed relatively close to the Rossi/Stoner battle at Assen, ultimately finishing six seconds behind Rossi. His confidence is coming back, and his bike is getting better. He isn’t giving up, despite his dismal results and struggle with the bike earlier this year.
Stranger things have happened, and Hayden winning at Laguna seca might be just compensation for his difficulties this year.