Former world champion Nicky Hayden has confirmed he will end his MotoGP career at the end of the current season to move to the World Superbike Championship.
As Motorsport.com reported yesterday, the American - who won the MotoGP title in 2006 - will ride for the Honda Ten Kate team in WSBK from next year.
The 34-year-old, currently riding for the Aspar team, has struggled this season and currently sits in 19th place in the standings with just 13 points to his name.
"This will be my last year in MotoGP – I'll be moving next year to Superbike with Honda and the Ten Kate team," said Hayden on Thursday ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.
"These last two years have not been so good. I haven't been able to get the results on the Open Honda to keep a high level bike in MotoGP, and I always thought SBK might be something I want to try.
"I like the racing there, and the opportunity felt like a good fit.
"I'm getting a little older but I still enjoy the sport, and this will be a new challenge and a fresh opportunity to go there and try and have some fun.
"I'll miss MotoGP, I was part of some great teams and I worked with some good people, but nothing lasts forever," added Hayden.
MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi paid tribute to the American and said he will be missed.
"It's a great shame for MotoGP to lose Nicky, because he's a great rider and a great guy – always good fun to spend time with," said Rossi.
"I have a lot of memories, because I was the first to see Nicky arrive in Europe, coming from the US, and we had good fun. I'm part of his best moment, because he beat me in the last race [in 2006] to become world champion."
Hayden, who made his MotoGP debut in 2003, will most likely leave the championship with three wins and 28 podiums to his name, as he endeavours to become the first ever rider to win both the MotoGP and World Superbike titles.