Nicky Hayden has announced that he will swap MotoGP for the World Superbike Championship in 2016 where he will ride for Ten Kate Honda. The news brings to an end a thirteen year stint in the Grand Prix paddock, a period that saw the American take three race victories, culminating in the 2006 MotoGP world championship.
Hayden will partner Michael van der Mark in Honda’s official World Superbike squad and is delighted to continue his long association with the Japanese manufacturer.
“Well, my next stop is Superbike with Honda! I’m very excited, obviously, to stick with Honda; it’s where I’ve had the most success in my career. World Superbikes is a championship that I followed closely as a kid when a lot of American riders were fighting at the front. It just seems like the right time and the right team to go with. I know I’ve got a lot to learn and it’s going to be a big challenge, but also I’m very motivated to start and learn what I can. I’d like to say thanks to everyone who has supported me through my MotoGP career. We had a good run but now it’s time to move on and try something different.”
Team Manager Ronald ten Kate is excited about the challenge that lies ahead and hopes to provide Hayden with the platform to make history.
“It’s well known that, at Ten Kate, we always have been and always will be Honda. There is only be one person in the world who could possibly be more Honda than us, and that’s Nicky Hayden! That’s why I’m absolutely delighted that he’ll be joining us for next season. He was AMA Superbike champion with Honda and we’re really looking forward to bringing him back to his superbike roots. By working together and using all our combined resources, I hope that in the future we can make him the first world champion in MotoGP and World Superbike. We are also looking forward to combining Nicky’s experience with young Michael, who has shown really good pace and huge potential on the CBR in his first season. I think you can safely say that I’m more than happy with the line-up we have for 2016!”