Ducati confirm Nicky Hayden deal

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After Honda’s earlier announcement confirming the departure of Nicky Hayden, Ducati has just officially confirmed the American will join Casey Stoner in its factory team for 2009.

The 27-year-old will make his debut for Ducati at a two-day test session immediately after the final race of the campaign in Valencia.

Hayden arrives at Ducati after six years in MotoGP with Honda, the highlight coming in 2006 when he was crowned world Champion.

"We are really happy to have Nicky join us," declared Claudio Domenicali, Ducati Corse CEO and Ducati Motor Holding Product Director. "We are certain that his never-say-die attitude, riding style and character will be great additions to our team in 2009.

"I would like to thank HRC for allowing Nicky to start testing our bike immediately after the Valencia Grand Prix. I would also like to thank Marco Melandri for his professionalism during a difficult year, which was below all our expectations.

"Unfortunately his feeling with the Desmosedici was never good enough to allow him to ride as well as he can. We wish him all the best for the future."

MCN first revealed Hayden’s Ducati in early June, when factory team boss Livio Suppo was spotted entering his motorhome at the Catalunya MotoGP test.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt