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Hayden looking for just rewards at Valencia

Hayden looking for just rewards at Valencia

For obvious reasons, Nicky Hayden has fond memories of Valencia after his title triumph at the Spanish circuit last season.

For obvious reasons, Nicky Hayden has fond memories of Valencia after his title triumph at the Spanish circuit last season. The American's defence of the crown may not have lasted the entire year, but the 26 year-old still has plenty of reasons to be going all-out for victory this weekend.

Hayden has yet to win a race this season, something which will have irked the hard working 2006 World Champion no end, and with nothing to lose at a track where he has not been off the podium in the last two seasons, he will have had a better chance of victory at few other tracks on the calendar.

"Well here we are on our way to Valencia and I can't quite believe it's the last race of the year. I'm really looking forward to this weekend but actually I'm not that happy the season is nearly over because we've had decent pace in the last few races and in some ways I wish the season was starting again, not ending," says ‘Trick Daddy', riding his last race with the number 1 plate on Sunday.

"Obviously the season hasn't gone exactly as I'd have liked and I wish there was some more races to go. Nonetheless, I'm really looking forward to going back to Valencia because the circuit has a special place in my heart with everything that went down there last year."

"On top of that I just like the track and the way it's laid out in such a tight area. It's a track I've gone well at in the past and certainly it's our last chance of the season so we'll try to go out with style. It'll be my last race with the number one plate this year so I'll definitely be pushing as hard as always. To be honest I can't wait for the weekend to begin."

Team-mate Dani Pedrosa is still in with a mathematical chance of second place in the MotoGP World Championship, but has the odds stacked against him. Rival Valentino Rossi needs just a solitary point to confirm his current position in the standings, so Pedrosa has to win and hope that the Italian finishes outside the top fifteen.

Riding in his homeland may seem like an advantage for the Spaniard, but Pedrosa has yet to win on home soil in five attempts in the premier class at the three tracks on the calendar; Barcelona, Jerez and Valencia.

"Valencia is a home track for me and the atmosphere is always very special because of this, and also because it's the final race of the season. The motivation of everyone will be very high as it's the last chance to get a good result and finish the year on a high – and certainly my target will be to win here, and also to enjoy the weekend," says the Repsol Honda rider.

"We've had great potential in recent races but usually one area or another has given us a problem, so I hope that this weekend everything can come together and we can get the reward I believe we deserve. The track layout itself is not one of my favourites of the year but I seem to have gone well here in the past and it's a circuit that I have a lot of confidence at. Combined with the welcome from the crowd, this makes it a really special occasion for me and I'm very much looking forward to the race. Let's hope we can give the fans something to cheer about."


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