Nicky Hayden will return to the MotoGP championship for the second time in 2016 this weekend at Phillip Island – and make his first venture onto a factory Repsol Honda for the first time since 2008 – as he steps in to replace the injured Dani Pedrosa.
Hayden last sat on the Repsol bike in 2008, before switching to Ducati, but has experience of Honda’s current RCV213 MotoGP machine after returning form the championship from World Superbikes two rounds ago at Aragon to replace the injured Jack Miller.
Pedrosa is set to miss the whole of MotoGP’s flyaway trip to Asia and Australia after undergoing surgery on Saturday night for the collarbone he broke in free practice for the Japanese Grand Prix on Friday, with doctors saying that the operation went well.
“Through the use of a CAT scan, it was confirmed that patient Dani Pedrosa had suffered a fracture consisting of four fragments, with significant shortening of the middle third of the right clavicle. The scan also detected a supcapital fracture of the right fibula with no displacement, only requiring immobilisation.
“A surgical operation was carried out on the right clavicle, involving its open reduction and fixation with a titanium plate. The result of the operation was satisfactory, and Dani Pedrosa will undergo an evaluation of his progress over the coming days.”
Hayden said: "First of all my best wishes to Dani, I’m sure he will come back stronger than ever like he always does. For me it’s crazy hard work but it’s a chance, ten year after winning my World Title, to get back to my old “dream team”! Doing a week-end in Phillip Island on a factory Honda, it’s pretty emotional for me to even think about it, and I’m very grateful for this opportunity and the trust that Honda gives me.
"I want also to thank my current team for allowing me to go and do this, and the sponsors. Everybody worked a lot on every detail to make it possible for me so now I’m excited to get on a plane, to get down to Phillip Island and hopefully I can do a good job for the team. Regarding Phillip Island there are two things to always consider, the weather and the tyres but it’s a track I love and I can’t wait to ride the bike there. Let’s get started on Friday morning and go forward”.
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