Nicky Hayden Back to MotoGP
Well at least for one race. The sole American in World Superbike, Nicky Hayden, will compete this weekend aboard the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V. The 2006 MotoGP Champion is confirmed to ride as a replacement rider for the injured Jack Miller at 2016 Aragon MotoGP.
Miller, who claimed his first MotoGP win this season at a wet Assen, suffered vertebra and right wrist fractures following a crash during warm-up for the Austrian Grand Prix.
The Honda World Superbike pilot arrives in Spain following a podium during race one at Lausitzring SBK last weekend. Hayden has finished on the podium four times this year, including a win in Malaysia. He is currently fifth in points with 195.
But for this weekend, the “Kentucky Kid” will return to Grand Prix motorcycle racing.
“Jack Miller has been injured and first off I want to say get well soon to Jack,” Nicky Hayden says. “Everybody knows that he is a friend of mine and I’m a believer in Jack so I don’t want to see him out of action, but he needs to get healthy so that he can show his potential. Really it is another Honda team and I work for Honda Europe so they need a rider and I’m here and I’m healthy, so why not?!
“I love racing and I know it’s not easy to just show up and do a good job in that paddock, which is full of ‘shark water’ I guess you could say! I’m excited to go there, try to have some fun, do a race and see what we can do!”
On returning to riding in MotoGP™ where new tires, new electronics and new regulations have been brought in since he last rode in the championship in 2015, Hayden added, “I like challenges. I would be more excited if I could go and do a couple of days on the bike, learn the team, learn the tires, but that is not the situation, that’s not what I’ve signed up for. I know what I’m getting in to. This is not a MotoGP return for me, it isn’t a try-out! I’m not 22, I’m 35 and my home is in Superbikes. My goals are in Superbikes. It is just a chance to go and do a motorcycle race.”