Nicky Hayden admits that he is not happy with the results he has had during his stint with Ducati, and is ready for a fresh start with Power Electronics Aspar next season.
Since his move to Ducati in 2009, the American has only scored three podium finishes and has failed to finish better than seventh in the championship standings.
“If I’m completely honest, I look back and don’t say it with regrets, but I can’t really be happy about the five years,” Hayden said in a sit-down interview with Gavin Emmett. “Results wise, it just wasn’t enough. That’s bitter. There will definitely be a little bitter taste in my mouth that we couldn’t accomplish more, especially in the last year or two.”
Hayden signed a two-year deal with Aspar – who recently announced they will be switching from Aprilia to Honda in 2014. Thankfully for Hayden, he has enjoyed his greatest success aboard Honda equipment, winning the 2006 World Championship while riding for Repsol Honda.
“I love Hondas,” Hayden said. “Even during this time [while riding for Ducati], I kept buying Honda dirt bikes. That shows what I think of the bike and their motorcycles.”
In his championship season, the “Kentucky Kid” managed to score 10 podium finishes – including wins at TT Assen and Laguna Seca – to narrowly edge Valentino Rossi by five points for the title.
Hayden joined the likes of Kenny Roberts, Eddie Lawson and Wayne Rainey as American riders to be crowned champion in MotoGP’s premier class.
Who can we expect to follow in Hayden’s footsteps?
That’s where the problem arises.
Hayden points out that young American talent is scarce, especially in series such as Moto2 and World Superbike – which act as feeder series for MotoGP’s premier class.
“Truthfully, there’s not a lot of young talent right now in the world scene,” Hayden said. “It’s been tough. Nobody in Moto2, Moto3, World Superbike, World Supersport.”
However, he did tag 2013 AMA Pro Superbike champion Josh Herrin as a rider to watch. Herrin, a California native, will be competing for the Moto2 Championship next season with Caterham.
“I’m very happy that Josh is coming over to Moto2,” Hayden said. “That’s a great championship, great racing, great talent. It’s not going to be easy. He’s going to have a lot of adjustments to make, but I hope he can get in there and be competitive.”
You can listen to Hayden’s full interview by clicking HERE.