Nicky Hayden Retires from MotoGP, Switches over to World Superbike

It's the end of the road in MotoGP for Aspar's Nicky Hayden, as he made an official statement about his intentions to retire from the premier class racing at the end of the current season.
Nicky Hayden announcing his retirement from MotoGo at the Motegi press conference, 2015 1 photo
His announcement was made in the opening of the press conference ahead of the Japanese GP. Hayden was accompanied at the press conference by Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa for Repsol honda, Ducati's best rider Andrea Iannone, and Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro.

It's hard to describe the looks on Hayden's face, but you can imagine he was not exactly happy with his decision, even if it was the right thing to do. In a way, Hayden sounded at peace with himself, knowing that there was not much left to do in the MotoGP, and the move to WSBK could bring the relief he so much needed.

Hayden moves to World Superbike with Honda Ten Kate

He also admitted he feels growing a bit older and finding it less and less likely to be able to battle in the premier class. On the other hand, the Kentucky Kid says that he enjoys the World Superbike racing atmosphere and believes he can achieve great things in the series-derived championship.

“Well this will be my last year in MotoGP as I’ll be moving to World Superbike next year with Honda and the Ten Kate team. It’s about all there is to it, not a lot more nothing too dramatic! These last two years have been not so good and I wasn’t in a position to get the result to keep a high level bike in MotoGP. I’ve always thought SBK might be something I want to try, 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 got to keep moving, go to SBK with Honda and hopefully have some fun,” Hayden concluded.

Nicky Hayden's best MotoGP year was 2006 when he became World Champion. During his 13-year MotoGP career Hayden won 3 races, scored six second positions and 19 third positions for a total of 28 podiums, with five poles and seven race fastest laps.

In WSBK, Hayden will have Michael van der Mark as a teammate and will be riding the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP, with winning the series being, obviously, the highest goal. If he succeeds, he will become the first rider to win both WSBK and MotoGP titles, and that would be great for both Hayden and the sport.
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