Hayden Once More Rumored to Go to World Superbike

Nicky Hayden's MotoGP future is once more in question as his contract with Aspar ends this year. It's not the first time when the Kentucky Kid is rumored to switch back to the World Superbike series, so we're taking the rumors with a (big) grain of salt.
Nicky Hayden 6 photos
Nicky Hayden at his 200th raceNicky Hayden racing in the rainNicky HaydenNicky HaydenNicky Hayden
For some reason, Nicky Hayden, who is a former MotoGP champion in 2006, failed to deliver the same class-leading performance after his success. A Honda in the premier class rider between 2003 and 2008, Hayden jumped ship and became a Ducati rider from 2009 to 2013, with the last three seasons wearing a Ducati Corse livery.

Still, his performance was never near his 2005-2006 era, when he was third and first in MotoGP, respectively. His best position with Ducati, at the end of a season was the 7th position, then he slowly drifted to being 9th. As Ducati no longer wanted to continue the relationship, Hayden spent the last two seasons in Jorge Martinez' Aspar team, but his results were even poorer.

After finishing the 2014 season in the 16th position, Hayden is now the 21st rider in the MotoGP world standing. With only 8 points in 9 races, Hayden is only one point ahead of his teammate Eugene Laverty, who is a MotoGP rookie.

A career in World Superbike was mentioned every now and then in the past years

Now, having Hayden in WSBK is a subject that seems to come to focus almost with regularity. It's been more than once when the rumor mill almost had him signed with a Superbike team, but nothing happened.

Even though some believe that the WSBK series is a step down from prototype racing, the production-derived series sometimes has more to offer in term of entertainment. Of course, the money a WSBK rider makes is significantly less than what racing in the premier class brings, but the series has welcomed ex-MotoGP riders who fared quite well.

Gp-inside says that Hayden attended the past weekend's WSBK round at Laguna Seca and was seen in Aprilia's box. Aspar has used Aprilia bikes in MotoGP until switching over to Honda in 2014, so things seem to add up.

Stay tuned for more on this subject, as more info is most likely to surface around the MotoGP summer break, and signing new deals and contracts is yet to come.
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