The Australian Grand Prix was the 150th of Nicky Hayden’s MotoGP career.Hayden left the U.S. after beating Mat Mladin for the 2002 AMA Superbike Championship for a globetrotting life that shows no signs of slowing down. Valentino Rossi was his teammate in 2003 and Valentino Rossi is his teammate in 2011. In fact, of all the riders still in MotoGP from 2003, only Rossi and Hayden have maintained their factory status. And both have one more year with the Ducati Marlboro team.That year will be pivotal for both Hayden and Rossi. Casey Stoner was the winner of the 800cc era on the Ducati Desmosedici that was his and his alone, and later the Repsol Honda RC212V. Other than Loris Capirossi winning the wet/dry 2007 Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi, no one other than Stoner won on the Ducati. And even his production dropped off after his 2007 World Championship.We caught up with Hayden in Australia to ask him about his nine years in the world’s premier motorcycle championship.
When you left the U.S. after 2002, did you have any idea you’d get to 150 GPs?
My goal my whole life was always to get to MotoGP and not just be here for a week or two… to get get here and hang here.
For the complete interview, visit this week’s Cycle News at the following link:http://cyclenews.coverleaf.com/cyclenews/20111025#pg51