Moto GP Champion Nicky Hayden to race in World Superbikes
Nicky Hayden, the 2006 MotoGP Champion has confirmed he will race in the World Superbike Championship with the Honda team in 2016.
The American rider beat Valentino Rossi to the MotoGP title in thrilling fashion in 2006, and has been a leading rider in the category since then.
The 34-year-old has competed in over 200 Grands Prix, scoring 28 podiums and taking three race wins. He began racing in MotoGP in 2003, competing mainly on Honda machinery.
Hayden will partner World Superbike rising star Michael van der Mark at the team, and is aiming to become the first rider to win both MotoGP and World Superbike titles. The news means Hayden will compete at Donington in 2016.
He commented: “I’m very excited to be making the step to World Superbikes, and to be sticking with Honda; it’s where I’ve had the most success in my career. World Superbikes is a championship that I followed closely as a kid when a lot of American riders were fighting at the front. It just seems like the right time and the right team to go with. I know I’ve got a lot to learn and it’s going to be a big challenge, but also I’m very motivated to start and learn what I can. I’d like to say thanks to everyone who has supported me through my MotoGP career. We had a good run but now it’s time to move on and try something different.”
Donington Park Managing Director Christopher Tate commented: “We are delighted to see that Nicky Hayden will be joining the World Superbike grid in 2016. He’s a name recognised worldwide and his arrival is a real talking point for the championship. He’s likely to be a front runner next year, and it’s going to be very interesting to see how he shakes up the established order.”
For more information on events at Donington Park, visit the official website www.donington-park.co.uk. The next major event at Donington is the Rainworth ŠKODA Dukeries Rally on 25 October.