Confirming what we already reported yesterday, Ducati Corse has officially made it official that Nicky Hayden will officially be riding in the official factory Ducati team next season, officially. His tenth season in MotoGP, and his fourth with Ducati, Hayden has re-signed for another one-year stint with the Bologna brand. An important figure for Ducati’s North America efforts, Ducati Corse heavily mentions Hayden’s influence on American owners as its reason for retaining the Kentucky Kid in its press release.

Generally said to be the hardest working rider in the MotoGP paddock, Hayden not only is a workhorse for the Ducati Corse team, as it tries to bring the GP12 and its progeny into the competitive fold, but Hayden is also an active figure for his and the team’s sponsors. With that sort of work ethic and only eight points separating him in the Championship from teammate Valentino Rossi, Hayden’s re-signing seemed like an obvious choice, though Ducati is said to have offered the American’s seat to Cal Crutchlow earlier this season.

“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. I love the guys I work with, I love the Ducati fans, and I love the brand,” said Hayden. “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. 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. 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.”

The signing of Hayden signals that Ducati Corse has figured out where Rossi is headed for the next season, though depending who you ask that either means a defection to the factory Yamaha team (as Ben Spies has vacated his seat), or it means Rossi staying put at Ducati (the outcome we find most likely). With Rossi said to be close to announcing his decision (likely at Brno), the 2012 MotoGP Silly Season is slowly coming to a close, though we still have yet to hear from Monster Yamaha Tech 3 riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow.

Source: Ducati Corse

  • Cody

    Words cannot express how happy I am to hear this news

  • Steve Lang

    Good to hear.

  • justadude

    Yes, I’m very happy Ducati did the right thing. Nicky has always been a loyal and hardworking team player. Congratulations Mr. Hayden. Now get out there and ride the hell out of that thing! :-)

  • TexusTim

    Very glad to hear he’s staying, would like to see him podium this weekend. So now were is Dovi and Crutch going or are they staying put ? and of course the Rossi thing isnt in stone yet either. Im for Rossi and Edwards to start there own satalite Yamaha team and take the championship next year,with Nicky right up there as well…..somehow Edwards has to have a win on his resume..remember he almost had one about 8 years ago when him and Nicky were going for the win and they both went of track..Ill never forget Edwards pushing his bike to the line!

  • TexusTim

    PS Nicky needs a hat that fits better……

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  • Scott Gilmore

    Good on Ducati for doing the right thing. Glad to see things going well Nicky.

  • JoeD

    Nick, if you read this, heartfelt congratulations. You deserve the spot for your ability not politics. Ride well and the wins will come if the Ducati is sorted.

  • smiler

    Great news. I think he will do them proud next year then take to WSB or AMA? By then the Ducati should be sorted and that, one chanpionship and keeping up with Rossi on the Ducati would be a pretty dgood legacy.
    I would reckon it also has a lot to do with Audi and the US mkt.
    Clearly also he is a good teammate to Rossi.
    Also really hope Rossi stays to they can finish the job and get Ducati back on track. Then there will be space for Cal and others to take it further.

  • JoeKing

    Sad news..what?

    I think everyone was quietly thinking.. whew..Nickey almost was out of MotoGP & this was his last hope.

    I think we all have it backwards. In 2006 he won the WC & had not Honda choosen to build a mini-bike for DP & done the more “logical” move (build the team around your WC..duh), we might be talking about MULTI- time WC Nicky Hayden.

    Remember, he was podium-ing regularly in 2006 & more importantly..maturing. Being squeezed out of Honda because of Repsol/Puig & going to Ducati as a last resort, effectively ended Nicky’s aspirations for future greatness.

    Dare I utter blasphemy..maybe he IS as good as where could I get that crazy idea from???

  • @ JoeKing. Remember Nicky said Rossi treated him “differently” after winning his first race, and Rossi truely admitting Hayden “deserved” the championship in ’06. Hayden, if given a competitive bike is. Of an also round. Here to hoping Ducati can make him shine one more season next year!