Nicky Hayden is set to return to the premier class for the second time this season. However, unlike last time, he will be riding for the Repsol Honda team, replacing the injured Dani Pedrosa. Hayden started his MotoGP career on a Repsol Honda, taking the world championship in 2006 before leaving at the end of the 2008 campaign.
“First of all my best wishes to Dani, I’m sure he will come back stronger than ever like he always does. For me it’s crazy hard work but it’s a chance, ten year after winning my World Title, to get back to my old “dream team”! Doing a week-end in Phillip Island on a factory Honda, it’s pretty emotional for me to even think about it, and I’m very grateful for this opportunity and the trust that Honda gives me. I want also to thank my current team for allowing me to go and do this, and the sponsors. Everybody worked a lot on every detail to make it possible for me so now I’m excited to get on a plane, to get down to Phillip Island and hopefully I can do a good job for the team. Regarding Phillip Island there are two things to always consider, the weather and the tyres but it’s a track I love and I can’t wait to ride the bike there. Let’s get started on Friday morning and go forward”.
Hayden is familiar with the Australian circuit, having raced there in the first part of his MotoGP career and also earlier this year, making his debut in World Superbike Championship for Honda.