Nicky Hayden MotoGP return confirmed

Former MotoGP Champion Nicky Hayden will replace Jack Miller at Marc VDS for the Grand Prix of Aragon, it has been confirmed.

Nicky Hayden MotoGP return confirmed
Jack Miller, Marc VDS Racing Honda
Jack Miller, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS
Nicky Hayden, Aspar MotoGP Team
Nicky Hayden, Aspar MotoGP Team
Jack Miller, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS
Nicky Hayden, Honda World Superbike Team
Nicky Hayden, Honda World Superbike Team

The American will replace the injured Miller for the Spanish race, as the Australian continues to recover from fractures first sustained in his right hand during a warm-up fall in Austria.

Hayden is no stranger to MotoGP, having started 216 races between 2003 and 2015. He picked up a title in 2006, and has even been on the podium at Aragon, finishing third at the inaugural MotoGP race there in 2010.

“First of all I want to wish Jack a speedy recovery,” said Hayden.

“He is a buddy of mine and he is a rider I believe in a lot, so I hope he can get healthy as quickly as possible to show the high potential we all know he has got. He just needs to get his body right so he can perform.

“This is an unusual experience for me because I’ve never been a stand-in rider before. But I have a good relationship with Honda and when the idea first came up they were behind it and Ten Kate gave me their blessing, so it is nice to go and help out another Honda team.

“For me it just a chance to go and have fun. I’d probably be riding motorbikes anyway and I would definitely be watching the race on TV, so I might as well show up and have some fun.

“I know MotoGP is not a place that’s always easy to have fun because the level is so high but I’ve got a lot to learn and it won’t be a walk in the park. I haven’t ridden the bike and there are different tyres and electronics but I’ve got a lot of experience and I get another shot at MotoGP, which is great for me personally.”

According to team principal Michael Bartholemy, leaving Miller on the sidelines is the best bet of having the 21-year-old fit for the Japanese GP next month.

"Obviously we'd have preferred Jack to be racing in Aragon, but it's the racing that is stopping the two fractures in his hand healing properly,” he said.

“It makes sense to have him sit out this race in a bid to recover ahead of the three overseas races, one of which is his home race in Australia.”

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