Making the rounds in the MotoGP paddock today at Laguna Seca, several sources close to the matter revealed to Asphalt & Rubber that Nicky Hayden is to announce a contract extension with Ducati Corse for the 2013 season this race-weekend. Pegged to be a one-year renewal, Hayden’s place at Ducati has been in a precarious position, ever since it was revealed that Cal Crutchlow had received an offer from the Italian team.

A workhorse for the Ducati, in addition to his personal sponsors, Hayden has been an integral member of the Italian brand ever since he joined the team back in 2009. With the United States now Ducati’s most important market in terms of sales, having an American on the company’s MotoGP team has been an important consideration for Ducati Corse, and the re-signing of Hayden to the Ducati Corse squad bodes well that Bologna has finalized its 2013 plans as well.

Unlikely to announce Nicky’s place in the team without securing the spot of the team’s #1 rider, the news that we will be hearing of Hayden’s contract at Laguna Seca gives a premonition that Ducati has closed in on a deal with Valentino Rossi. Said to have gotten the assurances from Audi that things would change within the Ducati Corse garage, Rossi has also been linked to a factory ride at Yamaha, as well as factory and satellite rides at Honda.

With the likely sticking point in that negotiations between Rossi and Ducati being the pace and process of development within Ducati Corse (there is said to be friction between Rossi and team boss Filippo Preziosi), the nine-time World Champion surely has gotten the backing of Ducati’s new owners that what changes he wishes to have made to the GP12/GP13 would be made, regardless of the what the engineers think is best.

Photo: © 2012 Jules Cisek / Popmonkey – All Rights Reserved

  • MikeD

    What to think ? [o_O] ?
    Oh Rossi……..where have u got urselfe into ? Im sure he smacks himself on the balls every nite before going to sleep for making such a boneheaded move…is ok….there’s next year…and maybe the one after…someday Ducati will get it right…LOL.
    Italians being Italians i doubt anything will change…unless Preziosi and his “Italian thinking” minions gets told to pick up his/their shit and GTFO…i doubt that would happen tho.

    Hayden ? What can i say…stay and keep being un-competetive on an ill tempered ride allways hoping for some miracle or GTFO and go to WSBK ? Time flys….and he sure ain’t getting any younger.

  • I don’t think Audi should interfere in Ducati race business. However, if they do, expect a “Yamaha” like machine next year from Burgess and Co.

  • TexusTim

    I very glad to hear that Nicky will be staying even for just one more year he still has a lot of tallent and probably a podium or two as well…….not so sure Rossi will be there regardless of what Audi promises.
    Wouldnt it be awsome if Collin Edwards and Rossi started there own Yamaha or Honda satalite team ? with Rossi being there first rider and Collin running the team, Collin would make a great team manager and owner and I think Rossi has at least one more championship in him if not two.
    Cmon it could happen they could call it ItalAmerica Racing.

  • Prediction:

    Rossi to Yamaha
    Ben spies back to Superbikes
    Crutchlow possibly to Ducati?

  • ngads

    If ducati are re-signing hayden, then i think that they expect rossi to leave.

    Crutchlow has an offer, so if he takes it rossi won’t have a spot.

    Interesting times

  • JoeD

    Nick has been a consistent rider for Ducati. He keeps his head down and mouth shut while coping with the development of the bike. He has the skill and more importantly, the will to win. Ducati chose wisely.

  • Frenchie

    If Rossi goes back to Yamaha and Hayden stays at Ducati, it will be the first opportunity for Nicky to be the n°1 rider (especially for development) after 10 seasons spent in MotoGP, always in factory teams.

  • Aj

    If you ask me, running over Marco Simoncelli had far more of an effect that anyone cares to talk about.

  • Everett

    I’m with AJ. While he’s on a 2nd tier factory bike, I’ve got to think that age-his-own-injuries-and-the-Marco-event have dulled the razors edge that it takes to win at the GP level. Now if he had a bike 2-3 steps ahead of everyone, that might be different. But we cannot expect that to come in one year, even with Audi partnership and/or complete design control but no gains from competitors.

  • Westward


    To think that a company like Audi that just spent a billion plus to acquire Ducati will not exude some sort of influence, makes you comment seems rather bonehead in itself…

    I don’t see the germans dishing out that amount of coin only to fail.


    I agree, but I don’t think it manifests itself in the negative manner you imply. Rather, Rossi wants to win so that he can honour Simoncelli the way he is accustom to, as a public declaration…


    Ok, I’ll play the prognostication game… I predict Ducati signs Spies to pilot a factory bike on a Satellite team. In fact he might be joined with Crutchlow, if not Barbera also on a similar bike. This way ducati has four top flight pilots to pull data from.

    Then, if Spies does not work out in MotoGP, you will see him in WSBK aboard the Panigale, as Checa jumps ship to ride for BMW or Kawasaki, which he may do as soon as net year. Which means Guintoli might be his replacement in the meantime for 2013.

  • “development within Ducati Corse (there is said to be friction between Rossi and team boss Filippo Preziosi),”


    Where have you seen/heard this? I have not seen this, but have guessed the same… I would like to know more on this subject, as some of Burgess’ comments allude to the same problem..

  • The MotoGP paddock…


    Monterey, CA, USA
    27 July 2012

    Ducati announces renewal of Nicky Hayden’s contract

    On the occasion of the United States Grand Prix, the home race for two-time LagunaSeca MotoGP winner Nicky Hayden, Ducati announces a contract extension with the American that will see him continuing to race for the Ducati Team next year.

    Nicky Hayden, who turns 31 on Monday, is currently in his tenth season in the MotoGP series and his fourth with the Ducati Team. During that time, he has become extremely popular with fans and Ducatisti all over the world, thanks to his reliably positive outlook, his passion, and his determination. He currently sits eighth in the championship points standings and is working hard on the development of the Desmosedici GP12, employing his typical effort and enthusiasm.

    The United States hosts no fewer than 45 DOCs (Ducati Owners Clubs) and tomorrow thousands of fans will have the opportunity to meet Nicky at Ducati Island, an area at Laguna Seca where Ducatisti gather to follow the race and experience the “red passion.” Following the afternoon qualifying session, Nicky himself will visit the Island’s stage, where many spectators and fans will no doubt be excited to join him in celebrating the news of his renewal with the Ducati Team.

    Nicky Hayden, Ducati Team
    “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. 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.”

  • smiler

    2013 Rossi No1 rider and Hayden No2. Audi, now and over the winter intervene as much as is necessary to get the bike sorted. Think of the oneupmanship with BMW they will get.

    2013 Hayden to WSB. Rossi to satelite Yamaha team then WSB in 2014. Cal into the now competitive Ducati with an Italian or a competitive American if there are any about.

    Italians being Italians i doubt anything will change…unless Preziosi and his “Italian thinking” minions gets told to pick up his/their shit and GTFO…i doubt that would happen tho.

    Just do not agree with that. The bike performed well considering the WSB and middling MotoGP riders on the bike to start with and later Stacey. Up until 2008, when Stacey ordered the carbon monochococchco frame. in place of the steel trellis.
    Since then everyone has been fighting to get a decent bike back on the track. Ducati engineers are not idiots, given the size of the company compared to the large Jap firms they have seen off and stayed longer than most in MotoGP. Anyojne remeber KR, Illmor, Aprilia, etc?

    In WSB they are dominent and this year in Superstocks have already given BMW something to think about.
    Burgess and Rossi IMHO are trying to get a bike that suit more riders in different conditions and tracks rather than needing to find the rider that can.
    Think they will see it through seeing also as Hayden stays on. No threat to Rossi and continuity for development .

  • MikeD

    @Dear WestWard:

    Check your eyes and read twice before posting relative UBER B.S and calling others names. I never said Audi wouldn’t have any influence on Ducati. I didn’t even mentioned Audi on my writing. I was going about Rossi.
    Why can’t you be cool about someone thinking different than you like Smiler did ?
    Get off your migthy high wooden rocking horse and get down with the regular GROWN people.

    Thanks for the unnecesary Heat and Friction, Sincerely…MikeD.
    P.S: Xcuse my horrible grammar.

  • MikeD


    Im down with the Trellis, always been. But the experts/experts-riders said it was flawed for MotoGP racing…and i ain’t an expert or GP Pilot, that’s for SURE. LOL. Hell ! It took them all the way there until they ditched it for the Carbon one !
    No, they have no Idiots…let’s clear that up…but rather STUBBORN Italians…wich could be even worse depending of the color of the lens u use to look at Ducati Corse Department.
    They have stayed for so long cause they have brains and some major sponsors…not necesarely some alien technology on their bikes…but let’s see how long that takes them.
    P.S: Duc sound A LOT like Aprilia wit the RS3 Cube…the thing was a wild stallion. LOTS OF POTENTIAL…yet no one knew how to harness it or use it.

  • MikeD


    Nice theory there. Let’s see how it plays out.

  • MikeD

    @Aj: +1.