Indy MotoGP: Nicky Hayden confirms Honda departure

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Nicky Hayden has finally confirmed he definitely won’t be a Honda rider in 2009, with an announcement expected soon on his switch to join Casey Stoner in Ducati’s factory team.

Hayden has become increasingly disillusioned at Honda’s favouritism towards Repsol team-mate Dani Pedrosa, and in today’s pre-event press conference for the inaugural Indianapolis GP, the American confirmed his HRC departure.

Hayden, who is still on crutches with the cracked heel in his right foot still hampering him six weeks after he damaged it during practice for a Supermoto appearance in the Los Angeles X Games, said:

“I mean it's no secret. Everybody knows where my next stop's going to be. But officially we're waiting on doing it the right way until the releases come out because there's teams and stuff. But I'm looking forward to it.

"I mean I know it's going to be a big change for me, and hopefully the announcement will be coming soon. But there’s still five races to go this season. I've had a long history at Honda. Sure things lately have kind of turned ugly just with everything going on and all the drama. But still we've had a lot of good races, won championships in the AMA and obviously the world championship was the big one.

"We had some good days and I'm really grateful for the opportunity they gave me, but I think it's time to move on and try something different.

He refuted suggestions though that he wouldn’t see out of the remainder of the season with Honda, saying it was ‘crazy’ to suggest he wouldn’t complete the last five races.

“I don't have any intention not to do the rest of the season. That seems crazy. At least the guys in my team know I'm not going to lay down until the very end. I fully plan on doing the whole season unless they lock the door over there on me.

Honestly, there's probably people in that box that if I didn't show up probably would never notice, but I plan on going.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt