Misano MotoGP Reaction: Nicky Hayden talks race absence
The American sat out the 28-lap clash with the condition of his cracked right heel worsening as the weekend went on, having decided not to risk further damage ahead of his home race in Indianapolis on September 14.
Hayden took the decision after missing the morning warm-up session and he said: “This wasn’t an easy decision. I love to race and the racer in me wanted to race, but in this kind of situation it’s better to listen to the experts.
"The heel got worse as the weekend went on. I was sixth on Friday morning but I kept working my way backward after that, the more I rode, the more strength I lost in the foot.
"When I woke up this morning I had a lot of swelling and bruising, there wasn’t any way the foot was going to fit in a boot. The team and I took the decision to try and be smart, to try to let it heal as best it can to get it ready for Indy, which is a huge race for me.
"I felt I could have salvaged a little something out of today’s race but that was just going to make things worse for Indy and for the rest of the season.”
Hayden was then bombarded by questions about Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa’s shock switch to Bridgestone tyres for the remaining five races of the season.
A somewhat shell-shocked former world champion said: “I didn’t know anything about it until today. I certainly wasn’t asked.”