News & Multimedia

Hayden To Stay In MotoGP With Aspar Team, Honda Motorcycle

2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden will stay in the premier class for at least two more years after signing a deal to ride a Honda for the Aspar Team in 2014 and 2015.

Hayden, from Owensboro, Ky., will ride a Honda RCV1000R for Aspar, a Spanish privateer team run by former 125cc World Champion Jorge “Aspar” Martinez.

The bike is a “customer” version of Honda’s RC213V prototype and is believed to be only a small step down in specification from Honda’s factory machine, upon which rookie and 2013 Red Bull Indianapolis GP winner Marc Marquez is leading the World Championship this season. Retired World Champion Casey Stoner is testing the bike for Honda this year, and he recently said the machine’s performance exceeded his expectations.

The move to Aspar ends a frustrating five-year stint as a Ducati factory rider and signals a return to Honda for Hayden, 32. He raced for the Repsol Honda factory team for the first six seasons of his MotoGP career, from 2003-08, and won the world title with Honda in 2006. He has earned all three of his career MotoGP victories on a Honda.

“It is great news for the Power Electronics Aspar Team to have the acquired services of Honda and a rider of the profile of Nicky Hayden,” Martinez said. “We are taking a huge step forward in terms of quality, prestige and image. We have grown a lot in a short space of time, and we are all very excited about this new project with Honda. It is the factory that the Aspar Team first started with back in 1992, and I have great memories of that period. Our objective is to continue being a reference point in the premier class.

“I think the combination of Honda’s MotoGP production racer and Nicky Hayden is going to be a very successful one. We are thrilled to be working with a manufacturer with the history that Honda has and a rider like Nicky, a World Champion with huge experience.”

The signing ended a tense week for Hayden, one of the most popular riders in the sport. He was in final negotiations earlier this month to sign with Aspar to ride an Aprilia “customer” bike, but that deal disintegrated when Aprilia Racing boss Gigi Dall’Igna announced last week he was leaving the manufacturer to become the leader of Italian rival Ducati Racing starting in mid-November.

Aspar owner Martinez was reluctant to continue with Aprilia after the departure of the well-regarded Dall’Igna. The Aspar team considered leasing a customer Ducati next season, as Dall’Igna and Martinez are longtime friends and Aspar was a Ducati satellite team in the past. But running a Ducati may have forced Hayden to look elsewhere, as he was winless and scored just three podium finishes in five years with the Italian manufacturer.

So Martinez decided to run the Honda RC1000R, which also kept Hayden – who has strong ties to Honda’s racing arm and American Honda – committed to the Aspar team.

“It will be a big change for us after so many years working with Italian factories, but we have high hopes for this new project,” Martinez said. “We are up for the challenge, and we will give maximum effort to making sure the Power Electronics Aspar Team continues achieving top results.”

Hayden’s teammate in the two-bike team was not announced. Former 250cc World Champion Hiroshi Aoyama of Japan has been mentioned as a primary candidate due to his longtime ties with Honda.

The seventh Red Bull Indianapolis GP is scheduled for Aug. 8-10, 2014 on a revised motorcycle circuit at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that will create even more exciting action. Hayden finished second at the inaugural event in 2008 on a Honda and third in 2009 on a Ducati.


***


2014 tickets: Tickets for the 2014 Red Bull Indianapolis GP will go on sale Monday, Nov. 4 by visiting www.ims.com/tickets, calling 800-822-INDY or 317-492-6700 or visiting the IMS Ticket Office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are available. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at 866-221-8775 for more information.

Information on camping at IMS during the Red Bull Indianapolis GP is available at www.ims.com/tickets. Hotel package information can be found at visitindy.com/redbullhotels.

 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Hayden To Stay In MotoGP With Aspar Team, Honda Motorcycle
 
Hayden To Stay In MotoGP With Aspar Team, Honda Motorcycle
2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden will stay in the premier class for at least two more years after signing a deal to ride a Honda for the Aspar Team in 2014 and 2015.
Read More
Related Media
Sarah Fisher
 
Santa Claus To Share A Ride With Sarah Fisher
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is partnering with Century 21 and Clay Terrace in welcoming Santa in true Indianapolis 500 fashion when he completes his victory lap in an IndyCar two-seater driven by Fisher.
Read More
CICOA at IMS
 
Carpenter Helps Celebrate CICOA Meals & More Program's 18 Millionth Meal
The CICOA Meals & More program works to combat that, providing 2,000 meals every weekday in clients’ homes and at 27 Central Indiana meal sites. And on Wednesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, CICOA served its 18 millionth meal to a senior guest.
Read More
Kevin Harvick Wins the 2014 NASCAR Championship
 
Harvick's Move To Stewart-Haas Pays Off With a Championship
The 38-year-old Californian finally grabbed his title on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, winning the final race of the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase. An “elimination” format was implemented for the final 10 races of the season, emphasizing consistency and winning with a few sudden-death moments, and Harvick answered the call each time.
Read More
NASCAR at Homestead
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Harvick Takes it All at Homestead
Title contenders Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman battled near the front virtually all afternoon on Sunday at Homestead, and Harvick took the Sprint Cup not by just finishing the highest of the four – but by winning the race.
Read More
NASCAR Chase Final 4
 
One Race, One Champion: NASCAR Championship Preview
Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman are the last four standing from the original 16 that opened the Chase at Chicagoland in mid-September. Few could have predicted that foursome – and not a single fan did out of the tens of thousands who submitted Chase grids on a NASCAR.com online contest.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 1,778
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Phil Sparks at (317) 492-6463 or email at psparks@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
Since 1979 there have been 2 drivers that have won multiple #Indy500 races under caution. Can you name them? Answer: http://t.co/5GehxRUuDJ
about 3 hours ago