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Nicky Can Still Ride

As Marco Melandri recovers from his lost years at Ducati, Nicky Hayden continues to sink into his. Now, Ducati will provide Nicky with a substantially different machine from that used by Casey Stoner in hopes that Nicky can come forward from the back of the pack and ride where he previously did on his Honda.

Clearly, no one understands why talented riders like Melandri and Hayden suddenly become back markers when they swing a leg over the same Ducati that Stoner races to victory. Giving Hayden a substantially different machine (including different chassis geometry and engine electronics) based on input from a test rider might shed some light on the mystery, but nobody knows for sure until Nicky tries the bike out this weekend in Spain.

MD Readers Respond:

  • Don’t get me wrong, I am a Nicky fan. I’ve cheered him on from the days he was Miguel’s team-mate…but if he can’t beat Kallio on a factory equivalent…then the next guy signing him might also consider a certain Kallio.

    Ducati has a huge problem now and Marco is probably laughing is head off…they have to make a bike for Stoner (they know how) and another one for the other riders…and I don’t know if Ducati know how to build a jap feeling bike…we will soon find out. I just hope Nicky has another chance at MotoGP like Melandri after this contract…or maybe they will find something miraculous….you think?

    ON another note, Jorge impressed me a lot this weekend.

    The first ever team mate to Valentino that is actually a threat…I love it! Chupa Chupps for everyone! Martin

  • It seems that the US press keeps trying to convince us that Hayden is better than he is. He is, at best, a middle of the pack rider. Yes I can hear you complaining that he got the championship crown a few years back. Please remember that he did NOT win that championship. It was handed to him by an unusual year by Rossi to the point of falling down in the final race to hand Hayden the prize. In the following year Stoner had eclipsed Hayden’s number of wins by the forth race. Nicky is a good rider only in consistency (note the tale of the tortoise and the hare).

    As for the failure of other riders to try the Ducati it is almost becoming a joke that there is a podium spot reserved for the “Wonder from Down Under” and the last 4 slots are reserved for the rest of the Duck Camp. I find it interesting that no one but Stoner can bend the Desmosedici around the track but almost any rider can make them go fast (compare grid positions to fasted times in the speed trap on qualifying day). With the help of Troy Bayliss helping Ducati sort out their machine, the Kentucky Kid might move forward in the standings to his rightful position, the middle of the pack. Dan

  • What Nicky needs is what any good (but not exceptional) MotoGP rider needs: a user-friendly top-class bike good enough to hide his weaknesses!

    Nicky is not in the same league as Stoner and Rossi (or even Lorenzo), so stop dreaming and making up excuses.

    Unless you believe that luck will favour Nicky once again (will not happen again in my opinion) Ducati (or Honda or whoever) must just give the bike Nicky is wasting to BenSpies. George

  • Based on the times from the first practice session it looks like the
    results of giving him a different bike are immediately visible.
    Hopefully this is just the beginning of a turnaround for Nicky’s season. Robert

  • Regarding your article today about nicky’s ability to ride and his troubles on Ducati. One thing to note is that Stoner wasn’t too successful when he was on the Honda. Something about that Ducati suits his style. The language barrier can’t soley be Ducati’s problem as Melandri was not successful getting up to speed on that team. jud