Last year the United States had the ignominy of not lining a rider up on the grid at a race on American soil after Nicky Hayden missed the race at Indy with a wrist injury. This year however he's back and fully fit for what he views as a special race and his "true home Grand Prix." With his home town of Owensboro, Kentucky only 200 miles from Indianapolis it's hard to be more local than Hayden.
“I am excited to race at Indianapolis, my true home Grand Prix, which is really close to where I live," said Hayden. "Unfortunately I had to miss it last year and it was tough to be there watching without being able to take part. It also means I haven't had chance to evaluate the changes to the track myself yet although the feedback from the other riders was generally positive, so I'm looking forward to riding. We will be competing alongside the MotoAmerica boys, who will be riding from Thursday so there should be some rubber laid down for when we go out on Friday, which is good."
Hayden has had a difficult year with the Open Honda failing to live up to expectations. With plenty of speculation linking him to World Superbikes for 2016 this could be the last time that he races in front of a home crowd in the premier class. Hayden however is focused on getting the most out of himself this weekend and into the second half of the year.
"It is no secret that the first half of the season has not gone as well as we'd hoped. I have had chance to rest up a little over the last three weeks and also get some training done. I am sure we will return at a higher level for the second half of the season.”