Ducati have been boosted by the news that Nicky Hayden will make his return from injury in this weekend’s San Marino Grand Prix. The American missed race day at Indianapolis plus the entire weekend at Brno with hand injuries and a concussion but has recovered in time for Ducati’s second home race, something he was keen to be back for.

“I can’t wait to get back on the track, but I know that it won’t be easy this weekend. My hand is improving and one of the two fractures is healing quickly, while the other metacarpal still has a pretty good fracture line. I’ve been able to keep up with my cardio training, and of course I’ve been doing the normal rehab, including a visit to Dr Ting in California. Braking on these MotoGP bikes puts a lot of stress on the right hand, particularly on a clockwise circuit like Misano. Nevertheless, racing at one of Ducati’s home tracks is something that I enjoy, and I certainly hope to be able to do the race. We’ve got a couple of things stacked against us, but we’ll see if we can put up a solid result and kick off a new positive stretch at Misano.”

Misano is also the closest race to Valentino Rossi’s home and the Italian is looking forward to receiving plenty of support. Rossi enjoys the challenges the circuit provides and hopes to reward the fans with a result to cheer.

“Misano is one of two home races for us, so there will be a lot of fans and a very special atmosphere, as is always the case when we race in Italy. The track is challenging and difficult, but I like it a lot. It has some really fun sections, such as the exit from the “Tramonto” corner and the big, fast corners after the back straight. We’ll have to work well in the practice sessions in order to fight and to try and do a nice race.”