Remembering Nicky: “I always believed I'd be World Champion”

This weeks' MotoGP™ Podcast is a special feature on the late, great 2006 World Champion – Nicky Hayden

On the weekend his famous number 69 will be retired from premier class Grand Prix motorcycle racing at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, the MotoGP™ Podcast also has a special episode featuring a past interview with the late, great Nicky Hayden.

Hosts Matt Dunn and Fran Wyld will also be talking to MotoGP™ commentator Matt Birt and Pata Yamaha WorldSBK rider Michael van der Mark about what it was like working with Hayden from a media and teammate perspective.

In the episode you’ll also hear quotes such as this from Nicky Hayden, talking about his 2006 MotoGP™ title winning season: “Well, for sure, in Portugal, that moment in the gravel trap, that thought of being World Champion just slipped through my hands. You never know how many times you’re going to be in that opportunity in life, but I gathered myself up, and after the race, maybe one hour after, I started to think of only Valencia. I looked at the points and realised I still had a chance.

“I know Valencia is a small track, many guys go fast there—maybe it’s not the best track for Valentino at that time. And I somehow, as crazy as it sounds—people ask me now—from about an hour after that race, I always believed I was still going to be World Champion. Going into the last race, I think 11 points down on arguably the greatest rider of all time, with all the momentum on his side, an injured shoulder.

“Not many people outside of my team and family gave me a chance, and for whatever reason, that whole season I believed it was going to be my year. And that’s what I said all along, is this is my year and I still think when they let off the yellow fireworks, I laughed, and I’ve seen the pictures because I guess I like being the underdog. I did have to chuckle and being on the podium and seeing the yellow fireworks was just something that was incredible for me.

“I would say that moment for me was what I lived all my life for and not just me, it wasn’t like a goal I felt I won. I felt my family won it, like we won it together, because my parents, and my sisters, and my brothers, they sacrificed so much to give us this opportunity at a young age and I felt like we won it.”

Head over to listen to the Hayden feature episode of the podcast on Spotify, as well as the other seven episodes that have been published prior.

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