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Benson unlikely to follow Hayden to Ducati

Benson unlikely to follow Hayden to Ducati

Repsol Honda Chief Mechanic Pete Benson is unlikely to move to Ducati to continue working with Nicky Hayden, recently announced as the Italian team´s second factory rider for 2009.

The rider-chief mechanic combination that took the 2006 MotoGP World Championship is unlikely to remain in place for 2009, with Pete Benson seeing little chance of his following Nicky Hayden to Ducati.

The Repsol Honda man has worked with Hayden for the past four seasons –all but one of the `Kentucky Kid´s campaigns in the premier class. Together they reached the pinnacle of MotoGP success in 2006 as Hayden was crowned World Champion, but their association is likely to end at the end of this year. New Zealander Benson was full of praise for his colleague after Hayden´s return to the podium at Indianapolis, and gave an insight into where his future will lie in 2009.

`I wish Nicky all the best; it´s a shame that he is moving on,´ said Benson after the duo´s 65th race weekend together. `I´ve been at Honda for 13 years, and I´d like to think that I could retire here. In any case, I´m pretty sure that there is no place for me at Ducati with the way that their system works.´

With four races remaining of the year, Benson was glad to have helped Hayden get on the podium one more time at Indianapolis, although he admitted that fortune may have played into their hands to help the American take the runner-up spot.

`We were lucky in some ways that the race ended how it did; the tyre was probably just a little too soft. It did work really well for the first fifteen laps, and I think that if the race had continued we would still have taken third.´

Benson has worked with the likes of Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi in their title quests for Honda, with stints alongside Niall MacKenzie, Tohru Ukawa, Tadayuki Okada and Alex Barros also featuring on his MotoGP resume.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda Team

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