Rossi gives Hayden a Ducati MotoGP pillion ride – on snow!

1 of 2

Nicky Hayden experienced a career first in Italy yesterday when he took a pillion ride on a Ducati MotoGP bike with team-mate Valentino Rossi – on snow!

The special ride took place during Ducati’s annual team launch at the picturesque Madonna di Campiglio resort in the Dolomites.

The American certainly doesn’t lack courage as he took the ride with nine-times world champion Rossi even though he is still recovering from injuries that are likely to see him start winter testing in Sepang on January 31 less than 100% fit.

The 2006 world champion is recovering from a broken left shoulder blade and three broken ribs that he suffered in a flat track crash shortly after Christmas.

Hayden is confident he will be fit to ride in the scorching heat at Sepang, though we doubt he’ll need the spikes despite many suggesting them as a radical solution to the front-end grip isses that hindered the Ducati in 2011.

An eye witness said: “Valentino was taking it pretty easy so I don’t think Nicky had too much to worry about. It was pretty cool to see.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt