Now in his ninth season of MotoGP racing, Nicky Hayden, one of the most popular riders of the motorcycle racing series, is in his third year with the Ducati MotoGP Team. For 2011, Nicky Hayden is now reunited with Valentino Rossi, #69’s teammate from his rookie MotoGP season in 2003.
In 2006, it was the Honda 1000cc race bike that brought the first true moment of GP glory. Hayden started the MotoGP season strong, with seven podiums in the first eight races, including the win at Assen, which took him straight to the top of the riders classification.
This lead was strengthened by a second win at Laguna Seca, which left him 34 points ahead of Daniel Pedrosa and 51 ahead of Valentino Rossi. However, after the summer break, Hayden’s fortunes changed and he slowly lost ground, before a collision with his teammate caused a fall at the Estoril MotoGP.
The unfortunate episode meant that Valentino Rossi had an eight point lead going into the last round of the season but nevertheless Nicky Hayden arrived in Valencia ready to play all his cards.
On Oct. 29 2006, having reached the third step of the podium after Rossi’s fall in the closing stages of the race, the Kentucky Kid became the MotoGP World Champion.
Now, for the third straight year, Nicky Hayden will rider the Ducati Desmosedici. For 2011 the Ducati Desmo GP11 gets a number of upgrades but basically continues with the liquid-cooled, 90-degree V4 four-stroke, desmodromic DOHC, with four valves per cylinder.
The 799cc Ducati GP11 has more than 200 hp and is capable of speeds over 200 mph. The Ducati dry weight of 150 kg (330 lbs) is within the MotoGP limits.
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