Hayden Heads Home for World Superbike Laguna Seca
Nicky Hayden and Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway have quite the bond. The 34-year-old Kentuckian has competed there in many classes – the former AMA Formula Extreme, 750 Superstock, 600 Supersport and SuperBike classes, along with World Supersport, World Superbike and MotoGP.
The 2006 MotoGP Champion has wins at Monterey, Calif., circuit in AMA SuperBike (2000) and MotoGP (2005 and 2006), all aboard Honda machinery. Hayden also made his World Superbike debut at Laguna Seca, the home of the infamous Corkscrew, during the 2002 as a wildcard rider aboard the American Honda RC51. During that debut, Hayden finished just off the podium in fourth behind fellow American Colin Edwards.
Hayden, who joined the Honda World Superbike Team following 13 years in MotoGP (8 years with Honda, five with Ducati), returns to the 2.23-mile circuit containing 11 corners track this upcoming weekend for round nine of the 2016 SBK season.
“It’s been a few years since I got the chance to ride at Laguna, so I can’t wait to drop down the Corkscrew again and ride at such a great track. The atmosphere there has always been amazing and there’s definitely a great vibe,” Hayden says.
“I’m looking forward to it; I know people are expecting a lot from me, but I have to be realistic and know what our pace has been in dry races. It won’t be easy to battle with the British guys, who at the moment are kind of dominating, but we’ll go there and give it our absolute best shot. We’ll try to have some fun and most importantly get some results that me, my fans and the team can be happy about.”
Round nine gets underway with practice Friday at Laguna Seca.