Nicky Hayden will continue to ride for the Repsol Honda Team in MotoGP next season having signed a new two-year deal with Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) at the Grand Prix of Japan. The fast 25-year-old American, who leads the riders' world championship, put pen to paper at the Motegi circuit today to extend a partnership with the factory Honda team that began in his rookie season in 2003.
The agreement ensures Honda retains its talented rider line-up for next year, with Hayden once again joined in the garage by young Spaniard Dani Pedrosa. Today's announcement also guarantees important stability as MotoGP enters an exciting new era with the new 800cc rules coming into effect in 2007.
Nicky Hayden: "It's an honour to be with the HRC factory team for another two years in MotoGP - it doesn't get a lot better than that - so I'm really excited. Everything came together and I'm pleased with the deal and I'm happy with HRC. I feel like I took a big step forward this year and I feel that I'm still climbing up the learning curve so I don't want to change anything. I want to keep learning, continue growing and keep this momentum going into next year. I'm really happy with the team around me, we're all clicking and working well together. I've been a Honda guy for quite a few years and they're the ones who brought me over to MotoGP - and now I just want to repay them with the championship."
Tsutomu Ishii - HRC General Manager: "Honda and HRC are very pleased that Nicky will remain with the Repsol Honda Team for two more years. Nicky has been with us for four seasons and during that time he has evolved and continually improved. His results this year have been excellent and he has led the world championship for much of the season. The feeling within the team is very strong at the moment and this season Nicky and Dani Pedrosa have established a positive relationship. As MotoGP enters the new 800cc era it is important for the Repsol Honda Team to enjoy this stability, not only with the rider line-up but also with our sponsors and partners."
Jaume Giró - Repsol YPF General Manager: "Nicky's experience, together with Dani Pedrosa's consolidation in MotoGP has made the Repsol Honda Team be once again the strongest of the World Championship. This has always been and will be the aim of Repsol: counting on the best riders in the best class. The coming season, with the arrival of the 800cc motorbikes, is a new challenge we are going to face with the highest guarantees for success, both as regards the riders and the technicians. The fact of Nicky Hayden extending his relationship with us for further two years is a reason for big satisfaction because we are convinced that he will continue giving us many victories in MotoGP."