by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 164
HAYDEN SIGNS, ROSSI KEEPS THEM WAITING In an unexpected turn-around Ducati has renewed former World Champion Nicky Hayden’s contract, just weeks after the American was in limbo. But now it is the company itself dangling on a string, as they await the crucial ‘stay or go’ decision from Valentino Rossi. Rumours of a record offer of 17-million Euro surfaced in Europe, as new owners Audi strive to keep the big star on board. The multi-champion is considering a return to the factory Yamaha team. This would give him the chance to return to the rostrum, but would be an admission of defeat in his Ducati quest. “I did not decide yet,” said Rossi. “It’s a bit too early. I spoke a lot with Ducati for next year, and still waiting some details and some important things on the contract. “From one side, there is a lot of work to do, but with a good feeling for the future. Some other choice (Yamaha) is more safe and possible to be competitive in a short time. “It is a particular moment in my career, so I have to decide which is more important. I will decide in the next weeks.” Asked whether financial questions were a delay, he laughed: “If it was only about money, I would already decide.” Pressed for further information, he laughed: “I assure you I will continue to race motorcycles.” New ownership by Audi, ratified in the last weeks, is a major factor, promising investment and the availability of technical facilities that offer the racing team the chance to reverse its declining fortunes. The U-turn in Hayden’s position guarantees continuity even if Rossi does leave. He has been in the team since 2009. At the last races Hayden was unsure of his position, after Ducati opened negotiations with Cal Crutchlow. But Ducati’s own deadline passed at Mugello with the English rider still awaiting a formal offer. This may now only come if Rossi goes. Hayden’s contract was confirmed days before the US GP, with CEO Gabriele Del Torchio thought to have been strongly influential. Unsurprisingly, Hayden was “very happy”; adding “I feel like I’ve got some unfinished business here.” In the short term, he told press-men, they needed to solve the handling problems, but also consider a complete redesign. “In my opinion, we should continue to develop what we have,” he said. Footnote: Racing boss and chief designer Filippo Preziosi visited Audi in Germany the week before the race. Earlier, he spoke of how the company’s resources such as rapid prototyping would be of benefit, although it would take “some time to know the right people to talk to”. MOTOGP >>> NEWS Multi-million lure to keep the champion at Ducati 10 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: