American Nicky Hayden has backed Ducati’s signing of compatriot Ben Spies to add experience to the Bologna factory’s 2013 MotoGP line-up.
Current factory Yamaha rider Spies will partner Italian rookie Andrea Iannone in the satellite Pramac Ducati squad after turning his back on the chance to make a quick return to World Superbikes next season.
Spies and Iannone will ride factory-backed Desmosedici GP13 machinery next season in what Ducati had planned to be a ‘junior team’ to nurture and develop young talent for the future.
Spies though is 28 and a triple AMA superbike champion and 2009 World Superbike champion and Hayden believes his experience will be crucial in helping Ducati mount a more serious challenge to Yamaha and Honda next season.
The signing of Spies to Pramac Ducati probably cost British rider Scott Redding his chance to join Iannone. The Gloucestershire Moto2 rider had tested for Ducati at Mugello at the end of July in an audition for the ‘junior team’ but since then he heard nothing.
He recently told MCN: “It has all gone quiet and it is like I didn’t even test the Ducati. If you want a rider you will do whatever you can for him and I don’t get that feeling.”
Hayden though said Ducati’s strategy not to sign two rookie’s was a good decision and he told MCN: “It is good to have more strong bikes out there. That is more information on new parts, especially having four equal bikes of the same spec.
"It does seem to make sense to have one guy with a bit of experience instead of two young guys. That would have been a little bit risky. If it was my call I probably would have done the same and get one guy with experience and give one new kid an opportunity.”