Hayden Says Stoner Exit "Shameful"

Casey Stoner's announcing his departure from the Ducati MotoGP team and moving to Honda for the 2011 season may turn into a good news for most of the Italian fans out there – as Valentino Rossi will most likely take his place in the Ducati lineup – but it sure represents a shameful exit as far as teammate Nicky Hayden is concerned.

Himself a Honda man for almost his entire career in motorcycle racing, Hayden moved from the Japanese works team Repsol to Ducati at the end of the 2008 season. Regardless of his Honda past, the Kentucky Kid argued that Stoner should have been more grateful to his Ducati team then to leave like this.

It's his decision, none of my business. But I think it's a bit shameful, as Ducati has done a lot for his career and has helped him in every possible way in winning races and the championship. But he's done a lot for Ducati too,” said Hayden, as quoted by the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

Additionally, the North American rider expressed his positive feeling towards his potential teammate in 2011, reigning world champion Valentino Rossi, with whom he was lined up in the 2003 season, at Repsol Honda. The Doctor is yet to announce his plans for next year, but a deal between him and the Italian manufacturer is inevitable.

Ducati would be crazy not to hire him: he's won nine titles, and he's come back at the Sachsenring with a broken leg. This shows where his heart is, and if someone still has doubts about his motivation... In the year we spent together I was a rookie and he was the champion. I wasn't even on his radar. I have a lot of respect for what he has done, both on and off the track. He is able to make a team stronger.”
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