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GP Week : Issue 28
>>Moto GPnews Hayden takes the gloves off It was ‘gloves off’ in the HRC pit, as local hero Nicky Hayden revealed the extent of the breakdown in the factory team, in the wake of his so-called team-mate Dani Pedrosa’s unexpected mid-season switch to Bridgestone tyres. Nicky confirmed to all and sundry that (as reported in the last issue of GPWEEK) he hadn’t even been informed of the planned switch, let alone been asked if he’d like to follow suit. “It’s quite a touchy subject. I was shocked like everybody else, but I wasn’t asked. I just kind of heard it on the street.” The move would hurt Michelin, he thought, since there were now “only five or six guys left that aren’t on Bridgestone.” Hayden also confirmed the worst-kept secret in the paddock: that Honda are to dispense with his services, though he was not able to confirm that he will be moving to Ducati, with the official announcement still yet to come from the factory. He joked to the pre-race press conference that he would be “on Aprilia in World Superbikes next year”; before saying: “I guess everybody knows what’s going to happen.” As to the situation within the factory Honda pit, where the different makes of tyre mean there is now a physical barrier down the middle of the garage: “It really don’t change a whole lot, other than the wall …” he said. “Honestly, there was already a bit of a wall there.” But he demurred when asked if he would finish the season with the team he has been with since joining MotoGP in 2003, and the manufacturer for whom he won the AMA title the year before. “I owe it to Honda to go out. I think they know that, at least the guys in my team know I'm not going to lay down until the very end, until Valencia. So I fully plan on doing the whole season. “Unless they lock the door over there on me, I plan on going in there and getting on the bike. “That could happen,”he continued, to much laughter. “You know, there's probably people in that box that if I didn't show up probably would never notice!” 13