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Hayden confirmed at Ducati for 2009

Nicky Hayden, Honda, 2008Ducati have confirmed 2006 MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden will partner Casey Stoner at the team next season.

The 29-year-old American had already announced his plans to leave Repsol Honda at the end of the year, after six seasons at the Japanese team.

Hayden will replace Marco Melandri at Ducati, and he will make his debut on the Desmosedici GP9 on 27 October right at the end of the season in Valencia.

"We are really happy to have Nicky join us," said Claudio Domenicali, Ducati Corse CEO. "We are certain that his never-say-die attitude, riding style and character will be great additions to our team in 2009.

"I would like to thank HRC for allowing Nicky to start testing our bike immediately after the Valencia Grand Prix.

"I would also like to thank Marco Melandri for his professionalism during a difficult year, which was below all our expectations.

"Unfortunately his feeling with the Desmosedici was never good enough to allow him to ride as well as he can. We wish him all the best for the future."

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