It seems many have forgotten that Nicky Hayden won the MotoGP championship in 2006 (aboard a Honda). It has been easy to forget, because Hayden’s results have been relatively poor the last few years. Testing at Sepang last week, however, might just indicate Hayden is turning things around.
Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) may have left Sepang with the quickest lap time (no surprise), but the circumstances indicate Hayden made a significant breakthrough. Rossi absolutely destroyed his pole lap record during the test, so the fact that Hayden was less than half a second slower (on a lap that is more than two minutes long) says something. Indeed, Hayden was third quickest… behind only Rossi and Stoner. Among the top riders, only Lorenzo was absent. Was Hayden’s test a fluke? Or is he ready to mix it up with the leaders in 2010? We shall see.
MD Readers Respond:
- Yes, it was a fluke. He won because of other riders’ bad luck, not his own skill. I wish him well, but I’ll be surprised if he finishes this season higher than sixth. Jett
- I think that the changes on the Ducati helped Nicky to strike back.
The motor is a big bang now, and not a Screamer. And there are other changes.
See the interview below: http://www.motogp.com/en/news/2010/Guareschi+video+Desmosedici+GP10
- Nicky is a world-class rider. Of that there is no question.
To the naysayers on his World Championship, the old-saw is appropriate: Winning is winning. It is convenient how they forget Pedrosa spearing him and taking him out of contention (or so we thought). They also forget Rossi’s inexplicable fall while trying to run Hayden down to clinch. They ignore his late-season form last year when he found a few things and become far more competitive. Marco Melandri he is not.
He just got lucky is all anyone thinks. They ignore is tenacity and resolve when others would have closed up shop and said “Oh well…..my teammate took me out.” or “It’s Rossi.” The guy never has quit and I doubt he will now. All anyone thinks is “He got lucky.”
Fine – he got lucky. Winning is winning. I suspect he’ll be getting lucky again real soon. Brett