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|10-08-2015, 12:50 PM||#1|
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Nicky Hayden To World Superbikes
Nicky Hayden finally makes his move to World Superbike Ten Kate Honda squad official. Photo Courtesy of Aspar Honda
At today’s MotoGP pre-race press conference at Motegi what had long been rumored became official: “This will be my last year in MotoGP,” said Nicky Hayden. “I’ll be moving to Superbike with Honda and the Ten Kate team.”
Making the announcement that his 13-year career in the MotoGP paddock was coming to an end had Hayden a bit emotional, but the 2006 World Champion went on to explain his decision.
"These last two years obviously haven't been so good,” Hayden said. “I haven't been able to get the results on an Open Honda to really keep a high level bike in MotoGP. I’ve always though World Superbike was something I’d like to try. I liked the racing there, the opportunity felt like a good fit.
“I’m getting a bit older, but I still enjoy the sport and the game. It’ll be a fresh challenge and a new opportunity to go there and have some more fun. Of course I’ll miss MotoGP and I’ve had a great opportunity here and been part of some great teams and worked with some great people, but nothing lasts forever and we have to keep moving, go to World Superbike with Honda and hopefully have some fun.”
Hayden’s former teammate Valentino Rossi was asked to speak about his thoughts on Hayden’s departure from the championship.
“It is a great shame for MotoGP to lose Nicky because he is a great rider but also a great guy,” Rossi said. “For sure we will miss him a lot, but I hope he can enjoy Superbike and I hope that the Honda is strong, because I hope to see him on the podium and fight for the victory.”
The other topic of discussion was to whether Marc Marquez, and more importantly, title contender Jorge Lorenzo were fit to race Motegi after a bout of bad luck for both Spaniards, who suffered injuries in training accidents during the break between Aragon and Motegi.
For Lorenzo it was an injured shoulder, that he was much relieved to say did not require surgery. The Movistar Yamaha rider put on a good face and assured that the shoulder was improving daily and would get better throughout the weekend.
“I feel a little bit of pain, not so much pain, but was not very comfortable when I was moving the shoulder,” Lorenzo said. “But luckily it improved so much during these days. Everyday I felt a big improvement. We did everything that we could to accelerate a little bit this process of recovery. Today I feel very good, and I think tomorrow I will be better, and probably on Sunday I will be better than Friday.”
Marquez on the other hand (no pun intended) did require surgery after he broke his little finger on his left hand for the second time this season.
“My injury is not so bad, okay it’s a little bit different than Jorge because here the bone is broken. But I feel okay, we will see tomorrow on the bike how it is,” Marquez said. “I’m a little bit worried about the braking points, because we are pushing a lot on this part. But we try to fix with a special handlebar and we will see on the bike. The rest I feel well, I feel ready and we will try to do our best this weekend again.”
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