Nicky Hayden may be making his final U.S. Grand Prix appearance this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. During Thursday’s press conference, the American announced that he wouldn’t be back with Ducati in MotoGP next season.
“It’s not an easy moment,” he said. “They chose to go a different way.”
Hayden has won the U.S. GP twice, first in 2005 and again the following year en route to winning the world title. “That first year was like a dream,” he said. Both victories came on factory Hondas.
Riding the Ducati, Hayden has finished third three times—one podium each year in 2009, ’10 and ’11. He is currently ninth in points, with a best placement of fifth in France. “We want to finish the year as best we can,” he said. “Some good results would help the situation.”
World Superbike may be an option, possibly even on a Ducati. Hayden is holding his cards—whatever they may be—close to his chest. “I really don’t know my future,” he said. “I have a couple of things going, some interesting stuff. MotoGP doesn’t look so good. There are 12 official bikes, and most of those seats are spoken for.
“This is the biggest show in the world, and MotoGP is where my heart is. But I don’t want to run around and try to get a point here or there. I still love racing bikes and still think I have a lot to give. I’ll try to find a new home. Nobody likes to get sacked, but that’s what happens.
“Don’t feel sorry for me. It’s all right. I’ll live.”