Nicky Hayden to stay in Ducati MotoGP team for 2013
|By Sam Tremayne||Friday, July 27th 2012, 16:53 GMT|
Nicky Hayden has agreed a contract extension and will stay with Ducati's works MotoGP squad for 2013.
The announcement, made at first of two home soil races for the American at Laguna Seca, means Hayden will stay with the team for a fifth consecutive year. He moved into the team from the works Honda outfit in 2009.
The deal represents something of a turnaround for Hayden, whose ride had looked in jeopardy earlier in the year as Ducati entered into negotiations with Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow.
"I'm very happy that I'll be back with Ducati and back in MotoGP, racing at the highest level for a very important team," Hayden said.
"I love the guys I work with, I love the Ducati fans, and I love the brand. This is an important time for Ducati in a number of ways, and I'm excited that I'll continue to be a part of it."
Hayden's fortunes are believed to have been boosted by his recent form at Mugello, where he challenged for the podium. He was also in the hunt in the previous round in Germany, and currently leads team-mate Valentino Rossi 7-2 in qualifying.
Despite that the American says he still has "unfinished business" with Ducati, and was looking to finally reap the rewards of the hard work he and Ducati have put in over the past two seasons.
"I feel like I've got some unfinished business here, and hopefully we can get all the pieces into place and reap the rewards of the hard work we've put in the last couple of years," he said.
"It's nice to be able to make this announcement at Laguna and to share the moment with my fans, friends and family. If I can do a good result on Sunday, it could make for a pretty special birthday weekend."