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Hayden title defence mirrors that of Roberts

Hayden title defence mirrors that of Roberts

Having struggled due to a series of setbacks after taking the MotoGP World Championship last year at Valencia, Nicky Hayden is the first to admit that things have not gone to plan with his title defence.

Having struggled due to a series of setbacks after taking the MotoGP World Championship last year at Valencia, Nicky Hayden is the first to admit that things have not gone to plan with his title defence. The most recent slice of misfortune for the American was a collision with John Hopkins on the opening lap of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, a racing incident that lead to Trick Daddys eventual retirement from the race where he had won the previous two years.

Haydens post-title year is probably best likened to that of the last American winner, Kenny Roberts Jr, back in 2001. After eleven races of his title defence, Roberts had taken just two top six finishes after a series of problems with his Suzuki, and had to wait until September for his return to the podium at Valencia in a season marked by a string of seventh places and retirements.

Haydens campaign is in slightly better shape podium-wise, and he still looks to have some semblance of form in his favour following rostrum finishes in Germany and the Netherlands, something that bodes promisingly for the remainder of 2007. The Kentucky Kid can take comfort from the fact that his U.S. non-finish came as a result of a racing incident rather than a lack of competitiveness, and will look to pick things back up after the Summer break.

With Honda having turned a corner in recent races, Hayden could yet get amongst the top six by the end of the year, even if retaining the number 1 plate is a step too far this year at least.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, Kurtis Roberts, Nicky Hayden

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