His success in 2006 also saw a bunch of American riders making their debut in the MotoGP, with World Superbike champions Colin Edwards and Ben Spies both stepping into Yamaha's boat through the years. Needless to say, that created a huge enthusiasm inside the United States (who also got 2 races in the MotoGP calendar as of last season).
However, Hayden warns that this success might fade away soon enough if at least one of the 3 highly rated American racers won't get to finally win a race – not to mention a championship title – in the MotoGP.
“Having three pretty strong Americans is always a buzz, and the interest for MotoGP in America I would say is as high as I've ever seen since I've been in MotoGP, with all of us near the front. Americans like winners, though, and they're going to get tired of us just being at the front pretty quickly – they want somebody who can win,” said Hayden in an interview with Crash.net Radio.
Despite the competition he faces in the series this year (from his two fellow Americans), Hayden insisted he won't get carried away with the thought of having to top them in the overall classification.
“We've all got egos, and each of us wants to be the top American, but I can't get caught up in wanting to be the top American. It's not a big deal,” added the Kentucky Kid, who came 4th overall in the season opening round of Qatar, being tipped for the podium by Honda's Andrea Dovizioso on the last meters of the race.