Nicky Hayden

Nicky Hayden – godspeed Kentucky Kid

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The racing world is in mourning after learning the sad news that Nicky Hayden has succumbed to injuries suffered during an incident while riding his bicycle last Wednesday.

Nicky passed away at 19:09 CEST this evening at Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, Italy. His fiancée Jackie, mother Rose and brother Tommy were at his side.

Throughout his career Nicky’s professionalism and fighting spirit was greatly valued and carried him to numerous successes, including his childhood dream of being crowned MotoGP World Champion with Honda in 2006.

As well as being a true champion on the track, Nicky was a fan favourite off it due to his kind nature, relaxed demeanour and the huge smile he invariably carried everywhere.

Nothing says more about Nicky’s character than the overwhelming response expressed by fellow racers and his legions of fans over the past few days. Jackie and his family are truly grateful for the countless prayers and well wishes for Nicky.

The ‘Kentucky Kid’ will be sorely missed by all that ever had the pleasure of meeting him or the privilege to see him race a motorcycle around a track, be it dirt or asphalt.

The racing world says goodbye to one of its dearest sons. Rest in peace Nicholas ‘Nicky’ Patrick Hayden.

 

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WSBK – Ten Kate Honda gets wings

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Honda’s WSBK assault has got wings this season, with the Red Bull backed Ten Kate team unveiling its 2017 livery.

This is the first time that Red Bull has been a title sponsor in the series, and with the new Fireblade beneath riders Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl, the team looks capable of taking a podium or even a win.

Former MotoGP Champion Nicky Hayden. “I’m really glad to get back together with Red Bull, who I have represented in the past, and it’s a great opportunity for me. We have to focus now on the job ahead and work as hard as we can in order to be ready for the season opener. The level of the competition is higher than ever and we have a big job ahead of us, but everybody is really motivated and I cannot wait to get started.”

Joining Hayden in the garage is former Moto2 Champion, Stefan Bradl. “It’s going to be a very interesting partnership with Honda and Red Bull… we have a new Fireblade for the season, so it will take a little bit of time to dial it in but we’ll do our best to take it to the top as soon as possible. All in all it’s a great project and step by step we will make it a successful one.”

WSBK – Neil Hodgson’s 2017 season preview

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“This season promises to be a classic. Last year, the class was dominated by the best rider on the best bike. Johnny Rea was a class above his rivals, and he had a bike under him that matched his talent, even if there were a few issues with the gearbox.

“This year the already-strong Kawasaki has been upgraded, and I expect
it to be leading from the front again. He’s fast, consistent and doesn’t make many mistakes.

“But he won’t have it all own way, and Chaz Davies finished the second half of last season in the form of his life. He’s kept the momentum going into testing and the Ducati Panigale R is a just gets better and better. His new team-mate Marco Melandri has also looked fast in testing, and I can’t wait to see how Chaz deals with the threat.”

“There’s also the news Honda Fireblade, and it will be interesting to see how it goes. Hayden and Bradl are both fast, but the bike is unproven. Expect a few podium finishes.

“And the Yamaha R1 is now in its second year of development, which means the team should kick on. Guintoli has gone, and been replaced by Van Der Mark, who is talented, and hungry. His team-mate Alex Lowes has been instrumental in developing the bike, and his sheer raw talent and speed mean he’s bound to be in the mix too.”

MotoGP –Hayden gets Factory ride filling in for Pedrosa at Phillip Island

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Former MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden is to roll back the years and  throw a leg over a Factory Honda again, filling in for Repsol Honda’s crocked Dani Pedrosa at Phillip Island.

Pedrosa broke his collarbone in a monster highside during free practice at Motegi, and Honda WSBK pilot has got the call, fresh from filling in for an injured Jack Miller earlier in the season.

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 years after winning my world title, to get back to my old “dream team”!

“Doing a weekend 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”.

MotoGP – Kentucky Kid set to fill in for Miller at Aragon

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Honda’s WSBK pilot Nicky Hayden is returning to MotoGP, deputising for the injured Jack Miller on the factory Honda at the Aragon GP.

The former world champion will be riding for the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Racing team for the Spanish round at Motorland Aragon, filling in while Miller recovers from his hand injury.

Hayden said: ““First of all I want to wish Jack a speedy recovery. He is a buddy of mine and he is a rider I believe in a lot, so I hope he can get healthy as quickly as possible to show the high potential we all know he has got.

“This is an unusual experience for me because I’ve never been a stand-in rider before. But I have a good relationship with Honda and when the idea first came up they were behind it and Ten Kate gave me their blessing, so it is nice to go and help out another Honda team.”

“For me it just a chance to go and have fun.I know MotoGP is not a place that’s always easy to have fun because the level is so high but I’ve got a lot to learn and it won’t be a walk in the park.”

“I haven’t ridden the bike and there are different tires, and electronics, but I’ve got a lot of experience and I get another shot at MotoGP, which is great for me personally.”

“I want to thank Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS for the opportunity and Ten Kate and my sponsors who all made it happen and I will try and do them all proud.”

 

WSBK – Rea wins action-packed Race One at Assen

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Race One at Assen saw a tantalising battle at the front as four riders pushed themselves and their bikes to the limit as they chased the win.

When the red light went out polesitter Tom Sykes got off the holeshot, with his teammate Jonny Rea and Ducati’s and Chaz Davies close behind, followed by Sylvain Guintoli on the Yamaha and home town hero, Dutchman Michael Van der Mark on the Honda.

Rea snatched the lead on lap two, and the leading trio of Rea, Sykes and Davies set a blistering pace, pulling a second’s lead on Guintoli, Van der Mark and Honda team-mate Nicky Hayden.

Van der Mark clearly had the bit between his teeth and a podium in his sights, overtaking Guintoli and closing the gap to the leading trio.

Davies then got the better of Sykes and then Rea, moving temporarily into the lead, before Rea ran wide in the sixth lap, allowing Sykes and Van der Mark to get by. This error by the world champion means there were five riders from three different manufacturers all within just over a second of each other – Davies on Ducati, Sykes on Kawasaki, Van der Mark on Honda, Rea on Kawasaki and Hayden on Honda.

Van der Mark struck in the eight lap, overtaking Sykes and moving into second place. The move clearly unsettled Sykes, who outbraked himself in Turn One on the next lap, launching his bike spectacularly into the gravel trap.

The battle for the front ignited at the start of lap 17, when Van der Mark made his move on the first corner to overtake Rea, who retaliated a bit later to take back the position. At the end of the same lap, Rea then attempted to get the better of Davies, but his efforts were thwarted and he was forced to fend off the Dutchman again in order to hang onto second place.

The three-way tussle continued on the next lap, with Rea overtaking Davies who was relegated to second place and was then forced to yield another position to the flying Dutchman Van der Mark’s Honda.

The Honda pilot had his sights set on the top step of the podium at all costs and in the 19th lap he moved into the lead, overtaking Rea, but then he went long and the Northern Irishman took it back. The young Dutch rider’s dreams were then shattered during the penultimate lap when he crashed out, sending his bike hurling toward the safety barriers.

Rea and Davies battled down to the last corner for the top step of the podium, with the Ducati rider just two tenths behind the Kawasaki as they crossed the line, and Hayden clinching third place more than two seconds down the road.

Race 1 standings:

1) Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team)

2) Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)

3) Nicky Hayden (Honda World Superbike Team)

4) Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse)

5) Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team)

6) Lorenzo Savadori (IodaRacing Team)

7) Markus Reiterberger (Althea BMW Racing Team)

8) Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team)

9) Román Ramos (Team GoEleven)

10) Lucas Mahias (Pedercini Racing)

WSBK – Rea wins photo finish in Race One at Phillip Island

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Johnny Rea claimed the first win of the 2016 WSBK season after a sensational last lap of a drama-filled season opener at Phillip Island.

The reigning World Champion started the race behind  team-mate Tom Sykes, in pole position, and Ducati rider Davide Giugliano in second,but both ZX-10Rs got the best get away from the light and pushed each other hard as they entered the Southern Loop on the very first lap. They were joined by Ducati’s Chaz Davies, who managed to make a stunning start from ninth on the grid, Giugliano and Honda rider Michael Van Der Mark.

Sykes lead the group as the race unfolded, with the Ducatis squabbling among themselves, closely followed by Rea and the Flying Dutchman Van Der Mark. However, Sykes started to drop back after surrendering the lead to his team-mate, and was soon embroiled in a close fight with Hayden and the Yamahas of Lowes and Guintoli.

Rea continued to set the pace, leading Davies and a rejuvenated Giulgliano on the Ducatis, with Van Der Mark staying in contention on the Honda. However a mistake by Giuliano saw the Italian drop back, and  Davies and Van Der Mark continued push the Ulsterman hard. Rea stayed calm and kept his race rhythm going as those behind him continued to play cat and mouse with each other, and as the laps ticked down, Davies got closer and started to seriously pressure the Kawasaki rider, probing possible passes for a last lap attack.

With the last lap underway, Davies pounced down the hill from Lukey Heights, taking the lead just before the final corner, before Rea took the outside line and blasted around the Ducati through the final turn, the two bikes straightening up on the Gardner Straight with almost nothing between them. In the shootout to the line Rea’s bravery around the outside proved to give him the pace necessary to nudge the nose of the Kawasaki over the line first, separated from the Ducati by just 0.063 seconds.Van Der Mark claimed third, recording his fourth career podium in only his second season, and Giugliano finished fourth in his first race back after a serious injury. Sykes was disappointed to finish fifth after his positive start, but 2014 WSBK Champion Sylvain Guintoli delighted to be the first Yamaha home in sixth, an outstanding result for the YZF R1 in its first WSBK outing. Leon Camier carried through his incredible form from practice to end the race seventh on his MV Agusta, with Jordi Torres on his Althea BMW behind him in eightt ensuring there were six manufacturers classified in the top 10. Series new boy Nicky Hayden struggled to keep the pace in the latter stages of his debut and dropped back to ninth, whereas local hero Josh Brookes made up for a difficult qualifying session to come home 10th.

MotoGP – Hayden upbeat for 2015

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Nicky Hayden is confident that the new RC213V-RS will be competitive after enduring a difficult season on the underpowered RCV1000R in 2014.

The Drive M7 Aspar pilot, who was also sidelined for four races after having an operation to remove three bones from his wrist, believes the new bike and his rehabilitated wrist will allow him to close the gap to the Factory and Satellite bike next season.

The 2006 MotoGP champion, said: “I am sure we will be more competitive in 2015 than we were last season. There is still some development to be done with the electronics but I think we are on the right path. We had a great chassis last season but we were down on power. The new Honda RC213V-RS has quite a lot of horsepower, which will help us close the gap to the guys at the front. Until we have had more time to test it I can’t really give much more of an opinion, but the first impression suggests that we have a solid base to work from.

“This will be my second season with the DRIVE M7 Aspar Team and my main objective is to enjoy riding again. I don’t want to talk about last season anymore, it’s over. I am focused on getting back to full fitness, riding like I know I can and getting some good results to put 2014 behind us.”

Hayden is confident his wrist injury won’t hold him back in 2015.

He said: “I feel better every day. It wasn’t easy to get back on the bike after the type of surgery I went through. It was a serious operation, they had to remove three bones from my wrist. I was able to control the pain and ride again, even though I wasn’t back to my normal level, but gradually I recovered strength and feeling. It is good for me that the season is over because it’s a chance to continue the recovery. Since the end of the season I have been having injections of platelet-rich plasma. I have let my hand rest but I have also been doing a lot of work with the physic.”

Hayden’s best result in 2014 was an 8th place at the season opener in Qatar and he finished the standings in 16th place with 47 points.