Honda calls up Hayden to replace Pedrosa

Honda calls up Hayden to replace Pedrosa
By AutoSport

18/10/2016 at 13:51

Nicky Hayden will return to MotoGP for this weekend's Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island, replacing Honda's Dani Pedrosa.

Pedrosa broke his right collarbone in a practice crash at Motegi last Friday, and underwent surgery on Saturday evening in Barcelona.

He was replaced by test rider Hiroshi Aoyama, who finished 15th, but Honda has enlisted 2006 world champion Hayden - who won his title on a factory Honda - for this weekend's round.

After 13 seasons in MotoGP, Hayden moved to the World Superbike Championship with Honda this year, but made a one-off return at Aragon to stand in at Marc VDS for the injured Jack Miller.

"First of all my best wishes to Dani, I'm sure he will come back stronger than ever like he always does," said Hayden, who finished 15th at Aragon.

"For me it's crazy hard work but it's a chance, 10 years after winning my world title, to get back to my old 'dream team'.

"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.

"I want also to thank my current team for allowing me to go and do this, and the sponsors.

"Everybody worked a lot on every detail to make it possible for me so now I'm excited to get on a plane, to get down to Phillip Island and hopefully I can do a good job for the team.

"Regarding Phillip Island there are two things to always consider, the weather and the tyres but it's a track I love and I can't wait to ride the bike there."

Hayden is fifth in the World Superbike Championship, and the final round of that season in Qatar clashes with MotoGP's Malaysian Grand Prix on October 28-30.

Pedrosa has now left hospital, and expects to know more about when he will be back in action following a check-up on Wednesday.

"I felt a strong pain for a few days after the operation, but things are starting to get a little bit better now," he said.

"I left the hospital and I have a check-up scheduled for Wednesday.

"Only after that will I have a better idea about the recovery time and about when I'll be able to get back on my bike."