Nicky Hayden To Stay With Ducati MotoGP Team For 2013

Nicky Hayden will be staying with Ducati in MotoGP for the 2013 season. Ducati Corse today issued an official press release announcing Hayden's contract extension for another year.

Hayden's continuation at Ducati had been in doubt for over a month, with the news that Ducati was in talks with Cal Crutchlow for next season emerging after Silverstone. Since then, internal discussion - and the support of Ducati CEO Gabriele Del Torchio - has swung back in Hayden's favor, seeing the Kentuckian offered a new contract for next year. Hayden's popularity around the globe, and most especially, his importance to the key US market was a major factor in the decision to extend Hayden's contract. Stability in the team also played a role; with a strong chance that Valentino Rossi could leave the team at the end of this season, starting 2013 with two new riders was felt to be too great a risk. By securing Hayden's services for next year, some continuity in bike development is ensured.

With Hayden now signed, all eyes are on his teammate Valentino Rossi. Rossi is due to make a decision on whether to stay with Ducati or move back to Yamaha in the short summer break between Laguna Seca and Indianapolis. There are no clear signs of what that decision will be as yet. Ducati, like the rest of the world, will have to sit and wait.

Below is the press release from Ducati Corse on Hayden's extension:

Ducati announces renewal of Nicky Hayden’s contract

On the occasion of the United States Grand Prix, the home race for two-time Laguna Seca MotoGP winner Nicky Hayden, Ducati announces a contract extension with the American that will see him continuing to race for the Ducati Team next year.

Nicky Hayden, who turns 31 on Monday, is currently in his tenth season in the MotoGP series and his fourth with the Ducati Team. During that time, he has become extremely popular with fans and Ducatisti all over the world, thanks to his reliably positive outlook, his passion, and his determination. He currently sits eighth in the championship points standings and is working hard on the development of the Desmosedici GP12, employing his typical effort and enthusiasm.

The United States hosts no fewer than 45 DOCs (Ducati Owners Clubs) and tomorrow thousands of fans will have the opportunity to meet Nicky at Ducati Island, an area at Laguna Seca where Ducatisti gather to follow the race and experience the “red passion.” Following the afternoon qualifying session, Nicky himself will visit the Island’s stage, where many spectators and fans will no doubt be excited to join him in celebrating the news of his renewal with the Ducati Team.

Nicky Hayden, Ducati Team

“I’m very happy that I’ll be back with Ducati and back in MotoGP, racing at the highest level for a very important team. I love the guys I work with, I love the Ducati fans, and I love the brand. This is an important time for Ducati in a number of ways, and I’m excited that I’ll continue to be a part of it. I feel like I’ve got some unfinished business here, and hopefully we can get all the pieces into place and reap the rewards of the hard work we’ve put in the last couple of years. It’s nice to be able to make this announcement at Laguna and to share the moment with my fans, friends and family. If I can do a good result on Sunday, it could make for a pretty special birthday weekend.”

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But at least he has wins, and of the short list of race winners (still active) in recent years, 2 are retiring at the end of 2012.

Ducati's not in a position to acquire one of the few aliens left for 2013, if Rossi's gone that's it - kaput. You then have a very short list of proven riders, and a large pool of unknowns. It's easy to gamble with other people's money, especially from the sofa.

When your personal position is on the line as a race department manager, and you have to answer to a board of directors, you can't stand there in front of them and say - I think maybe under the right circumstances, unproven Rider X and unproven Rider Z might be great riders.... You take a guy that is proven, well liked, who rides hard, doesn't crash much, a good PR guy, good for the corporate image, helps sell product, mixes with the team well. Then you take a risk on one lightning in a bottle type.

Surely Rossi is out now even though it's clear he doesn't want to leave. he's riding the same bike he started the season with and the two bikes that have hammered Ducati have had an embarrassment of upgrades. He must be gutted as a patriotic Italian who knows exactly what is needed to win a title in this game.Wanted him to stay with Ducati but don't understand them. They race motogp but talk like they do it out of a van at weekends. Honda for me, yam are arseholes and it's too recentand Honda need him more, heard the gossip but I reckon repsol will have no probs with a large sticker on a factory bike for VR. if he's fast enough the parts will come . Don't believe for a second that Honda would noble him if Jorge was on top. A factory repsol maybe but that's highly unlikely.. Nice work today dani. Is it coincidence or because he's injury free.. Go dani. Congrats Nicky on another season in the top class only Ducati truly know how much his contribution is and it must be fair to resign him, they are in a very tricky position. If Rossi goes nobody will care how Ducati do and I suspect they fear that more than anything else. Motogp needs to get back to showing all sessions.

There was a day when people used to race GP out of vans on weekends.......;) Maybe the boys are Ducati are just keeping it real.
In all seriousness, I'd like to see Rossi stay with Ducati. I actually thought he would after having "let's stick together" on his lid at Mugello. But maybe that was his way of putting a spin on the fact that he didn't have a choice. The general understanding at the time was that Ben was going to stay at Yamaha and Honda weren't exactly beating down his door. Now Ben's out and Lorenzo has even quipped that having Rossi back could be good for Yamaha.
As far as Hayden, despite his detractors, I think he deserves the ride. He said Del Torchio was pulling for him, which says something in itself.

Honda is not a contender. They already have their factory team locked in and the existing Satellite teams would have issues with Rossi's sponsorship and entourage bagage. To go Honda, Rossi would need to set up his own separate team and then run a satellite bike (albeit factory spec) ...not likely.

Or at least, much better. Nicky has never been that ruthless rider willing to...nudge another out of the way. He learned from years in the AMA, at the end of the day, only points and an uncrashed bike matter (to bosses). Rossi's greatness on average has only been worth a position or two.

When Hayden is able to get podiums, that bike will then be ready for a ruthless rider capable of winning.

Do you think his 2013 contract has some performance incentives in it for a 2014 deal? Perhaps he has to get 4 podiums in 2013 to ensure he gets a deal in 2014? Or perhaps just finish higher than 5th in the standings? It would be interesting to read the fine print.

I was looking forward to Nicky getting a very competitive ride (in WSBK)...on the other hand, just may be, the bike is coming around. Just as soon as Rossi and his associated hangers on depart, may be Ducati can get back to building fast bikes. It did not seem that the GOAT and JB made much difference, but they have managed to turn the Moto GP paddock into a bunch of 13 year old girls with the gossip and back biting. Hire Crutchlow and Ducati will have a competitive team of good guys......good luck Nicky!!!

"Just as soon as Rossi and his associated hangers on depart, may be Ducati can get back to building fast bikes."

So you mean to say that Rossi has been holding this bike back? There is nothing wrong with asking factory for new parts and Rossi who has worked for all the major manufacturers has seen parts are developed and made available quickly, compared to Ducati who keep thinking and are unable to develop anything which gives them 0.7 sec they lack.Even stoner while leaving ducati commented that "Ducati do not have budget to develop things" look it up, before make a pathetic post.

"Hire Crutchlow and Ducati will have a competitive team of good guys"

Are you able to predict the future? Or maybe ur just a hate monger with nothing good to add to the discussion.Then refrain from using the keyboard to post such crap.

The man's a grafter and a great sell for Ducati, and the bit about Nicky's "reliably positive outlook" sums up the situation well.

If Rossi leaves at this moment and goes back to Yamaha with tail between legs it will forever diminish him, and either Lorenzo will beat him to the championship anyway or Rossi will just end up being a spoiler. I'd rather see both Rossi and Crutchlow stay where they are.

Casey leaving Ducati because they wouldn't put in the hard yards was possibly the best thing he's ever done. The fact that Ducati have not learnt from that and done the same to Rossi should not reflect badly on him. If Ducati had done what they asked and still failed fair enough. If Rossi leaves he'll automatically be a lot more competitive as casey ( and everyone else)was and they'll be no doubt(again) which part of the'team' ( I use the term loosely ) is not pulling it's weight. No brainer.

The man's a grafter and a great sell for Ducati, and the bit about Nicky's "reliably positive outlook" sums up the situation well.

If Rossi leaves at this moment and goes back to Yamaha with tail between legs it will forever diminish him, and either Lorenzo will beat him to the championship anyway or Rossi will just end up being a spoiler. I'd rather see both Rossi and Crutchlow stay where they are.

I would welcome Rossi's decision to move to Yamaha, tail between the legs or not.Once he wins a couple of races, the haters can keep hating, for a nine time WC only wins matter.Ducati will just be another footnote in his autobiography when he retires.

Nothing will "diminish" him. He's got more premier class wins than anyone else in the 63 year history of the sport. He also has 9 titles and 1 of only 2 riders to get 100 wins across all classes.
He can retire, ride a CRT, or for Suzuki, or go to WSBK or BSB, and hold his head higher than anyone.

Never heard someone jumping off an uncompetitive bike to a competitive one being referred to as Tail Between the Legs. He's given them a year and a half to fix the handling problems so he can ride the way he wants and the way he won 100 races. That's long enough.

Did Stoner have his tail between his legs when he went back to Honda? He accused them of messing with his settings, as well as the tires yet he went back to Honda. I'd say he left Ducati for the exact same reasons that Valentino might.

I think Rossi's detractors make up fantasies and sayings and are always negative and always trying to turn anything they can get their words on to pessimism. They also seem to be able to predict future years of this championship. In that case, please send me the lottery numbers for tomorrow night's drawing. I need a few more bits for my bike.

... but what if Rossi signing with Yamaha would persuade Ducati to make Spies an offer impossible to decline?! With both Hayden and Spies (not to mention the sponsor is also American) one can only imagine how Ducatis would sell in United States ... ;) And, why not, Audis? That would only make the new owners of the Italian brand extremely happy ... and willing to subsidize further developments of the Ducati MotoGP project ...

From a historical point of view,I think Rossi should stay in Ducati and make it work.That would be "the right thing to do" ...If that happens, it will be of mutual benefit for both parties and Rossi would have made a historic feat nobody else can touch.

That's my feeling too ...but it depends on how long he wants to stay in motogp... With Audi and Marlboro, I really think the bike will be competitive within the next 4 years ... in 4 years, Rossi will be 37, not so old ... after all Biaggi is 41, Bayliss stopped at 39.

Build a competitive bike with Ducati and Rossi's legend will just be unbeatable ... back and lose in Yamaha and we will always think "he should have stopped in 2009"

Time will tell

At least, Ducati made an intelligent think by resigning Hayden ... and they should definitly do all they can to keep Rossi ... Iannone and Crutchlow is lottery, you can't find a Stoner every 5 years

Is looking good on the best bike this year. The Ducati is such a different beast - I say lucky to be running with Nicky at best