American Nicky Hayden Will Leave MotoGP To Race WorldSBK in 2016

Hayden will finish the 2015 season on the Aspar MotoGP Team Honda before joining Ten Kate Honda Racing in WorldSBK.

2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden on the Aspar MotoGP Team Honda.©Motorcyclist

The pre-race press conference held today officially marks the start of the Japanese GP at the Twin Ring Motegi, the 15th round of the MotoGP World Championship. The two main title rivals, Movistar Yamaha's Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, were joined by Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, Ducati Team's Andrea Iannone, Team Suzuki Ecstar's Aleix Espargaro and Aspar MotoGP Team's Nicky Hayden.

Hayden addresses the media at the pre-race press conference held today at the Japanese GP.
Aspar Team has confirmed an agreement with Yonny Hernández for 2016.©Motorcyclist

2006 MotoGP World Champion Hayden was the first to address the world's media with the announcement that he would be leaving MotoGP to join the Ten Kate Honda team in WorldSBK for 2016. Said Hayden, "Well this will be my last year in MotoGP as I'll be moving to World Superbike next year with Honda and the Ten Kate team. It's about all there is to it, not a lot more, nothing too dramatic! These last two years have been not so good and I wasn't in a position to get the result to keep a high level bike in MotoGP. I've always thought SBK might be something I want to try, liked the racing there, the opportunity felt like a good fit. I'm getting a bit older but I still enjoy the sport and the game. It'll be a fresh challenge and a new opportunity to go there and have some more fun. Of course I'll miss MotoGP and I've had a great opportunity here and been part of some great teams and worked with some great people but nothing lasts forever and we got to keep moving, go to SBK with Honda and hopefully have some fun."

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As of this writing, no mention was made of Hayden’s departure on the Aspar Team’s website. Aspar did, however, post an announcement that they have already moved ahead with its plans for the 2016 season.

After much negotiation, the outfit from Valencia confirms an agreement with Yonny Hernández, currently riding for the Pramac Racing Ducati team. The Colombian rider has four years' experience in the premier-class after spending two seasons in Moto2, and at 27 years of age he has proven his worth on the MotoGP grid.