Nicky Hayden: Indy success vital for America

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New Ducati recruit Nicky Hayden believes the success of the Indianapolis race is crucial to help boost interest in MotoGP in America.

Hayden, who was confirmed as Casey Stoner’s 2009 Ducati team-mate on Monday, finished second in the inaugural Indy race on Sunday as over 90,000 fans braved appalling conditions.

America’s Laguna Seca clash enjoyed its lowest crowd in July since MotoGP returned to the California track in 2005, and Hayden reckons Indy could help drive interest and investment up in the US.

“I think Indy is huge for MotoGP in America. This is a big market. I mean, California and Laguna Seca is kind of cool, but we're in the heartland here. There's a big audience around this area even though Indianapolis is not so big, there's a lot of major cities in the area. So I think it's a big, big opportunity for our sport, and I think it's important.

"There are a lot of bike fans in America, but also a lot of sponsorship dollars here in America that I think we need to get into. So hopefully it will help attract some of the sponsors", said Hayden, who has only four more races left as a Repsol Honda rider.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt