Nicky Hayden: ‘My results convinced Rossi’

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Nicky Hayden reckons his return to form in 2010 helped convince Valentino Rossi to make a multi-million pound switch to Ducati.

The American endured a torrid debut season at Ducati in 2009, but the popular Kentucky rider finished in the top six in more than half the races this season, including a podium at the new Motorland Aragon track in Spain.

And the 29-year-old believes his resurgence dispelled the myth that only Aussie Casey Stoner can master the Desmosedici machine.

Hayden, who was team-mates with Rossi at Repsol Honda back in 2003, told MCN: “I think it had to help him make his decision easier seeing me go well on it this year and see how much the bike improved instead of one guy going fast.

"I’ve been up there and even the satellite guys have been sticking their nose in a bit. I got no doubt he can win on this bike and I think it is going to be good for MotoGP and good for Ducati to get his experience.”

Rossi was 15th on his factory Ducati debut in Valencia last week. For an eight-page review of the test, check out the November 17 issue of MCN.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt