Five years after being unceremoniously dumped by Honda less than 18 months after winning the 2006 MotoGP world championship, Nicky Hayden could be poised to renew his association with the Japanese powerhouse.
Axed by Ducati and seemingly destined to switch to World Superbikes, Hayden’s speed and experience are proving valuable assets that are making the American a wanted man.
Hayden has been talking to the Forward Racing squad about riding a Yamaha YZR-M1 engine and chassis package.
But at his home race in Indianapolis he was being strongly linked with a production Honda RC213V ride in Lucio Cecchinello’s LCR squad.
American Honda is keen to work with the 32-year-old again, but the US subsidiary will have to bankroll the majority of the deal, with Cecchinello previously ruling himself out of purchasing a production RC213V due to insufficient budget.
Cecchinello told MCN: “I didn’t speak with Nicky but there is an interest from American Honda to maybe support part of this operation. I am leaving HRC and them talking directly together because I don’t have any connection or any power with American Honda. If they can find some serious contribution then we are more than welcome to consider this possibility.
I want to keep my feet on the ground because for me this would be a dream project and fantastic but the reality is that with all our existing resources we need to stay focused with Stefan Bradl. If some new resources come then we are welcome to consider.”
On his future, Hayden said: “I'm still understanding stuff but we're definitely getting closer but nothing is signed yet. There are some options in MotoGP and some in World Superbikes. There’s no formal offers just yet and we’re not down to the last details.”