Lying 14th in the championship points race, Ducati’s Nicky Hayden is having a difficult year . . . to say the least. His 6th place at Brno is a highlight, and Hayden has yet to step on to the podium in 2009.
The Indianapolis Grand Prix coming up in two weeks time is absolutely critical for Nicky Hayden. Another race in the States for the native, and another chance to impress Ducati (or some other potential employer) that he is a worthwhile signing for next year. As a former World champ, you would think Hayden would have no trouble finding a job for 2010 somewhere in the MotoGP paddock, but the 28 year old really needs to consistently run near the front to garner some bargaining leverage for the next season. On home soil, you know Hayden will be motivated, but his lack of results this year (together with the absence of teammate Casey Stoner) means Hayden will really be pulling out all the stops for a good result at Indianapolis.
MD Readers Respond:
- Nicky’s 2008 MotoGP season was also pretty lackluster, but I was at the inaugural Indianapolis race last year and was as shocked and pleased as anyone to see the Rossi-Hayden show! Had the race not been called due to hurricane conditions it’s anyone’s guess how it would’ve finished, but Nicky was right on the Doctor’s tail the whole time, with a significant gap to third. Regardless of what it does for Nicky’s championship standing, I’m very interested to see how the Brickyard race plays out this year! ROBERT
- It’s time to face the facts that should have been obvious from the beginning, Nicky Hayden, while no doubt one of the best US racers, is not gonna make it in motoGP. Even when he won the championship in 2006 he only won 2 races, (Rossi won 5) he won the championship because he was consistently in the points, he had the best bike, and the faster more talented guys had consistent bad luck. Makes me think of Randy Mamola, another guy who did not live up to the hype the US moto media piled on him. I am sure Nicky is a nice guy, and he apparently has some kind of star quality that has the media swooning, but he can’t (and never could) keep up with the Rossi’s, the Stoners, and all the new young guns. Sorry. ES
- I used to be a Hayden fan in his days with Honda. But it was more about Honda than Hayden for me. MotoGP was and still is the premier showcase for manufacturers to show their technical might. Back in the day one could expect Honda to be at or near the top. Honda has struggled ever since going to 800cc. Hayden may be an excellent rider but as you say, his lack of results at or near the top makes one wonder if he isn’t too far past his prime no matter what’s underneath him. Rick