Nicky Hayden cautious about Misano return
Nicky Hayden has admitted he won’t risk jeopardising his place in his home race in Indianapolis next month as he prepares to return to action in Misano tomorrow.
Hayden cleared a medical on his damaged right heel this afternoon at the Misano circuit and plans to assess his fitness in tomorrow morning’s opening free practice session before deciding whether he will continue.
Hayden is still walking on crutches and is sporting a lightweight protection on his right foot, which he damaged during practice for an X Games Supermoto appearance on August 1.
The fractured heel forced him to miss the Czech Republic GP in Brno earlier but he believes he will be competitive in Misano, despite still being short of 100 per cent fitness.
But he is adamant that he will not take any chances that could threaten his appearance in the first Indy MotoGP clash on September 14.
“I don’t want to say too much, I’ll just see how it goes tomorrow. But I don't want to be stupid and make it a lot worse if I can’t be competitive. I’ll be thinking about Indy but I can’t wait just to show there with everybody else racing and testing, I will go there and get embarrassed with too much time off a bike because you get too far behind too quick in this game", said the Kentucky rider, who is on the brink of confirming a deal to join reigning world champion Casey Stoner in Ducati’s factory team.
Hayden, who has been in regular consultation with renowned injury specialist Dr Art Ting, will ride with a specially modified insert in his boot to help him on board his factory Honda RC212V.
He said: “I went to Ting’s last week and a guy made a specially moulded support for inside my boot for some protection. He did a good job so hopefully that will help.”
The American is still having problems weight bearing on his right foot even though it is four weeks tomorrow since he picked up the injury."
He told MCN: “When I put any weight on it the bone that is fractured pushes it into a bigger bone and its tender with some bruising. It’s not like I need a big operation, just time, but I thought it would be a little bit better by now. I wished I were in a little better condition. I hated missing a race and missing a test but I probably didn’t miss too much in the end. But I’ll give it a go.”
Hayden said he had initially wanted to return to action in Brno, but in hindsight he had made the right decision to stay at home to continue his recovery.
The 2006 world champion, who is currently eighth in the world championship, said: “Part of me wanted to go ride Brno and on the Monday before I woke and thought I can ride. I’ve rode in worse pain than, so I thought I would try. I called my doctor again and said ‘don’t you think it’s a good idea because I don’t feel too bad?’ But looking back now it wasn’t option. Seeing the results and what happened I certainly didn’t miss a whole lot.”