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Hayden replaces Pedrosa at Phillip Island

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Hayden replaces Pedrosa at Phillip Island
By:
Oct 18, 2016, 12:02 PM

Nicky Hayden will replace Dani Pedrosa in this weekend's Australian Grand Prix, returning to the Repsol Honda team with which he won the MotoGP title in 2006.

Nicky Hayden, Honda World Superbike Team
Nicky Hayden, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS
Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda Team
Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda Team

The American, who already competed in the Aragon Grand Prix - he finished 15th, 40 seconds off the winner - as a replacement for Jack Miller at the Marc VDS team, will race again but alongside world champion Marc Marquez and on the works HRC bike.

Hayden, who took part in 216 grands prix between 2003 and 2015 on the top category, with three wins and 28 podiums, had already travelled to Silverstone with the intention of replacing Jack Miller, who ended up racing despite the physical problems he had both in his hand and his back.

Pedrosa is still recovering after undergoing surgery on Saturday in Barcelona following the collarbone fracture he suffered on Friday at Motegi after a huge crash.

Given the time constraints, Honda used test rider Hiroshi Aoyama in Japan, but he struggled with race pace and finished 15th, a minute behind the winner, his teammate Marquez.

This time, Honda has decided to use Hayden, who does not have commitments in Superbikes, where he is fifth in the standings, 234 points behind Jonathan Rea.

"For me it's crazy hard work but it's a chance, ten year after winning my world title, to get back to my old "dream team"," said Hayden.

"Doing a weekend in Phillip Island on a factory Honda, it's pretty emotional for me to even think about it, and I'm very grateful for this opportunity and the trust that Honda gives me."

After having clinched the riders' title, the Japanese manufacturer is now trying to defend the lead it has both in the teams' championship, where Repsol Honda has a 51-point gap over Movistar Yamaha, and in the constructors' standings, where its margin over Yamaha is 28 points.

It is yet to be seen who will replace Pedrosa next week in Malaysia, as Hayden will be racing in Qatar, the final round of the season, with his Ten Kate team.

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