Hayden: ‘This season has been biggest challenge of my life’

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Nicky Hayden’s tough first season with Ducati took a distinct turn for the better as he achieved his first podium for the Italian factory at Indianapolis.

Two visits to Indianapolis and two consecutive podiums makes great reading for Nicky Hayden and he will rightly savour the moment with his friends and family after another great performance at his home event.

The Kentuckian rider loves riding on American soil having achieved several good results in the U.S. down the years, but round 12 of the 2009 season will be remembered as one particularly sweet moment, as he marked up his first Ducati rostrum result in front of his home fans.

Indeed, having had some difficult moments in his career since his 2006 World Championship win, Hayden says the 2009 campaign so far has been the most challenging period of his life.

In an elated mood after crossing the line third behind Jorge Lorenzo and Alex de Angelis at The Brickyard, Hayden enthused, “It is great to be on the podium. I am really happy. Everybody knows what a hard season it has been and to be honest it has been the biggest challenge of my life. We have hung in there and caught a couple of breaks today, and I was able to get on the podium again.”

The 28 year-old added in his typically American southern drawl, “I am happy to be up here spraying a little bubbly (champagne)! I have to say a big thanks to all my team, all my family and all my supporters for sticking behind me.”

Having fought off a strong push from Italian rival Andrea Dovizioso in the final stages Hayden also commented, “He was all over me and I was getting a lot of heat so I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to hold on. It was all or nothing on the last couple of laps and I managed to hold him off, so hopefully we can just keep building on this. I am very pleased and I’m going to enjoy it!”

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