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Upbeat Hayden relishing Ducati responsibility

Upbeat Hayden relishing Ducati responsibility

Getting his first Ducati podium last weekend in his home race was ideal preparation for Nicky Hayden ahead of his second GP on Italian soil for the Bologna-based team.

A determined run to third place on Sunday at Indianapolis was a big plus for Nicky Hayden ahead of this weekend’s visit to Italy for the Gran Premio Cinzano di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini.

Hayden has described his season so far with Ducati as the most challenging period of his life so it was a huge relief to finally show some true competitiveness on the Desmosedici GP9 in front of his own fans, a week before racing in front of the team’s passionate supporters at Misano.

The American rider is hugely popular amongst the ‘Ducatisti’ due to his cheerful nature and his hard-working approach to racing. In the absence of Casey Stoner, who is due to return next month at Estoril Hayden is the Italian factory’s number one rider, leading the team forward with the assistance of temporary replacement rider Mika Kallio.

Thousands of Ducati fans will pack into Misano’s ‘Variante del Parco’ corner for Sunday’s race and Hayden is looking forward to giving them something to shout about.

“At Mugello I realised how special it is to race for Ducati in Italy so hopefully I can give all the Ducatisti even more reason to party.” He commented. “I know it won’t be easy and I can’t get overconfident even though everything went so well at Indy.”

He went on to add, “The little time we’ve had since Sunday’s race has flown by and even though I would have liked to have a bit more time to reflect on last weekend, Misano is right on us and that is what we have to focus on. Last year I rode in practice but wasn’t able to take part in the race because of a foot injury. Still, I like the circuit and there are a couple of fast right-handers at the end of the lap, in particular, that are a lot of fun.”

MotoGP, 2009, GP CINZANO DI SAN MARINO E DELLA RIVIERA DI RIMINI, Nicky Hayden, Ducati Marlboro Team

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