11 Sept 2012

MotoGP - Nicky Hayden back with Ducati for Misano

Following his injury at Indianapolis, which forced him to miss the race at Brno, Ducati have announced Nicky Hayden will be back in the saddle for their home race at Misano.

Nicky has spent the time since Indianapolis at home in the United States recovering and building up the strength in his hand, which suffered two fractures in the crash.

Valentino Rossi was the sole rider at a private test session at Misano two weeks ago where he tested a new frame and swingarm which we believe Ducati will be using in the race.  The full report from that test is here.

Nicky said, “I can’t wait to get back on the track, but I know that it won’t be easy this weekend. My hand is improving and one of the two fractures is healing quickly, while the other metacarpal still has a pretty good fracture line. I’ve been able to keep up with my cardio training, and of course I’ve been doing the normal rehab, including a visit to Dr Ting in California. Braking on these MotoGP bikes puts a lot of stress on the right hand, particularly on a clockwise circuit like Misano. Nevertheless, racing at one of Ducati’s home tracks is something that I enjoy, and I certainly hope to be able to do the race. We’ve got a couple of things stacked against us, but we’ll see if we can put up a solid result and kick off a new positive stretch at Misano.”

Despite being their home track Misano hasn't been kind to Ducati in recent years.  Valentino Rossi came 7th in 2011 and Casey Stoner was 5th in 2010.  Their last win was back in 2007, courtesy of Stoner.

But Valentino's results have been slightly better.  In the past five years he has recorded two wins and one third.

Maybe 2012 will see a resurgent Ducati at the track.  With the new frame and swingarm and the fact Rossi generally goes well there, plus the private test where Rossi put in 80 laps, will we at least see them fighting for the bottom step of the podium?

Practice for the 2012 San Marino MotoGP race at Misano starts on Friday.

Hayden's Indy crash as published on his Facebook page