Nicky Hayden testing Ducati World Superbike

Will the current Factory MotoGP rider make a straight swap for a WSBK?

Posted: 4 September 2013
by Samantha Wanless

CURRENT MotoGP Factory Ducati rider Nicky Hayden is testing a World Superbike Panigale at Mugello today.

It was announced in July that the American could not be riding for the factory Ducati Team in MotoGP for 2014, however he was still wanted by Ducati who are rumoured to have offered him a ride in World Superbikes on the factory Ducati 1199R Panigale.

The option to test the Panigale could be a hint as to where we will be seeing the 2006 MotoGP World Champion next season.

The Ducati World Superbike offer is apparently not the only option Hayden has.

LCR Honda Team Manager Lucio Cecchinello confirmed at the Indianpolis Grand Prix that he was in talks with Hayden for a possible ride in 2014 on a ‘Honda production racer’ alongside Stefan Bradl.

NGM Forward Racing have also confirmed that they have reached an agreement with Yamaha to lease them one of their M1 packages. This is another option that has been spoken about with Hayden.

Hayden appears to have several offers to choose from, and he has form on a Superbike, having won the AMA title on a Honda in 2002. Testing the Panigale shows that a potential move into World Superbikes is a choice the Kentucky Kid is seriously considering.    



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Discuss this story

Nicky Rules!

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 14:11

He won't be doing much ruling if he's shackled to another Ducati of Death in the form of a Panigale. Or a customer RCV in Grand Prix either. If I was him, i'd retire from racing with my millions of dollars in the bank and spend the rest of my life enjoying myself.

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 14:34

surely he finds enjoyment in riding motorcycles though....
I'd go for the customer honda, no point doing anything with ducati! I'd love to see him on a moto 2 bike, I know the bikes are a step down but the racing most certainly isnt!

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 15:05

Nicky should go for best ride he can get in WSB, he could run at front on right bike, win races and challenge for the title, that must be appealing after the years he's had with Ducati...

Might even have some fun in WSB..???

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 15:29

"Nicky, here's a reward for your 4 years slogging it out on an underperforming MotoGP bike"

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 16:01

Yeah, quite, and his reward is (if Bologna have owt to do with it) an under performing WSBK. Which again it looks like Ducati refuse point blank to accept is anything to do with the bike.

What I don't understand is how they've got it SO wrong on track? Ben, you rode the Panigale right? Everything I've seen says it's a cracking bike on the road. Yet, it's a dog on track. Anyone, anyone........Bueller?..........Bueller?

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 16:34

Screw ducati ride a Honda or a Yamaha and whip their snobby asses! King Kenny help please??!!

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 22:27

A road bike and a WSBK version share few parts and are a million miles apart.

Ironically, the winningest Ducati World Superbikes, helped flog loads of road versions which weren't great road bikes yet people lapped them up.

The Panigale is a great road bike, but its performance in WSBK may hinder sales.

Posted: 05/09/2013 at 10:41

Yeah, clearly the WSBK spec bike and the road going bike are poles apart. But the "dna" is essentially the same. Is it not?

It's the one thing that I've always applauded with Ducati, is their pathological brand devotion of their customers. The adage of win on Sunday sell bikes on Monday really doesn't apply to Ducati as far as I can tell.

Ducati owners only like Ducatis and only buy Ducatis. Clearly this is a massive generalisation, but I reckon it stands up fairly well.

Wonder if I can squeeze in the word Ducati anymore times in this post...oh brilliant!!!

And Ben, did you really use the "word" winningest??? Did you really???

;)

Posted: 05/09/2013 at 11:24

Looking at the Panigale on track this year under the hands of Checa, maybe Hayden is the one to get results. But, I doubt Hayden wants another year or three of development-riding to get up front again. Take the Honda or Yamaha deal, stay in MotoGP (where he obviously wants to remain) and show Ducati/Audi why their MotoGP bikes still run mid-pack. There's been enough time and enough riders to show there is something wrong. Where ever he ends up, it'll be exciting because he always brings his attitude and enthusiastic work ethic.

Posted: 05/09/2013 at 18:34

Ducati won't be shit forever not now audi have invested millions in the company, it's only a few years ago they dominated in all classes, casey in moto gp, checa in wsbk and lavilla in bsb.
So i'm sure they will sort the painagalle out and it would be great to see Nicky in wsbk anyway.

Posted: 11/09/2013 at 19:15

Oh, I have no doubts that Ducati will have the Panigale up front in WSBK fairly soon. How long? "Soon" could mean in the next year or two...a long time in racing terms, while the other OEMs move forward too. If Hayden does end up in WSBK, I hope us in the USA will be able to see it. beIN Sports got the broadcast rights for WSBK in America and while they've provided a European-quality broadcast this season, their recent treatment of fans and how they showed the German round tells us that they're dropping the "ball". They told folks that they would show the WSS race from Germany, then on Sunday, it was left out of the broadcast. No replay, no "encore" coverage, nothing. All of a sudden, they are very unresponsive to inquiries about that, and also about how this weekend's Istanbul coverage will be offered. Once again, USA enthusiasts are getting screwed just like we did with Speed channel. I think Dorna only cares about revenue and once the contracts are signed, the broadcaster is free to do what they want. Not showing the races they said they would, abbreviated time-slots and a lack of answers about why all of a sudden the coverage is dumbed down. WE all hope that the German round was a fluke, so we'll see if they go back to the coverage they have presented up until Germany.

Posted: 12/09/2013 at 17:08

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