Hayden explains decision to sit out San Marino race

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Injured Repsol Honda rider Nicky Hayden has explained his decision not to participate in Sunday´s MotoGP race at Misano due to his ongoing foot injury.

Having missed out in Brno the 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden is to sit out his second race in succession at Misano on Sunday, due to the injury to his right foot sustained in an exhibition ride in Los Angeles, during the summer break.

Hayden had been riding through the pain barrier at the Gran Premio Cinzano di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, and qualified in sixteenth position – just over two seconds slower than pole man Casey Stoner.

The American did not go out for warm-up on Sunday morning and his grid slot will remain empty this afternoon as he rests up in order to ensure that his condition does not worsen before his home race at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix in two week´s time.

The `Kentucky Kid´ explained his decision saying ruefully, `As the weekend has gone on I have got worse. I have worked my way backwards in the sessions and I have lost strength in my foot. I could suck it up and try to race and try to salvage something but the truth is that I am just digging a deeper hole for myself. When I woke up this morning I had a lot of swelling and there was no way it was going in a boot today.´

On the importance of getting himself fit for a competitive run on home soil at the next round Hayden added, `I don´t doubt my own skills and Indianapolis is going to be a big weekend for me, so hopefully I can get healed up. That track (Indianapolis) goes a lot more to the left so that should help me with the foot situation. This track (Misano) has been mostly to the right which was harder, but the change of direction has been the hardest thing.´

Providing his perspective on the issue Hayden´s manager Phil Baker told motogp.com, `Nicky is a fighter and any opportunity he has he wants to come and do his best for Repsol Honda. But over the course of yesterday and then this morning when we saw the foot we decided it was best to think with the head and not with the heart. Now he wants to get himself as fit as possible for Indianapolis which is so important for him and for Honda.´

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