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Hayden and Stoner introduced at Wroom

Stoner continues rehab for injured wrist

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jan. 13, 2009
Nicky Hayden made his official debut in Ducati Marlboro gear at the annual “Wroom” press event at the Italian ski resort Madonna di Campiglio.

Hayden joined his new teammate Casey Stoner in meeting the press at the five-day event, hosted jointly by Ducati Corse and the Ferrari Formula One team.

“On Sunday I tried on my Ducati leathers for the first time in an official photo session and I felt very proud,” says Hayden. “I know what a huge opportunity I’ve been given and I’m very grateful to Ducati, Marlboro and everybody who has shown faith in me in this new chapter of my career. I was immediately struck by the dedication and passion that the team is famous for and by how hard everybody is trying to make me feel comfortable in these new surroundings, as they have done helping me adapt to the bike and get the most out of it.”

Stoner spoke about his left wrist which was operated on following the end of the 2008 season.

After meeting with the press, Nicky Hayden had a chance to hit the slopes of the Dolomites in Italy.
With Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro will field the 2006 and 2008 MotoGP champions this season.

“I’m reasonably happy,” says Stoner. “I would like to have a little more movement but the check-up went well yesterday, the bone graft has healed well and that is very positive. It means I can start to work my hand and arm a little harder now and start to recover some muscle mass and get in the best possible shape for the next test.”

Looking back at the 2008 season, Stoner says overconfidence may have hampered his attempt at defending his 2007 MotoGP championship.

“Last year we were perhaps a little too confident and overlooked some of the work we needed to do, leading to a few highs and lows at the start of the season that end up costing us dear,” says Stoner. “From my side I also plan to be a little more aggressive this season and maybe be a bit more decisive in races where nobody seems to want to take the initiative.”

Hayden arrived at Wroom on Monday driving a carriage drawn by two white horses, but there will be much more horsepower available on Wednesday when the Desmosedici GP9 is officially unveiled. Stoner’s wrist prevented him from taking part in the winter MotoGP test in Jerez, Spain, but he was able to support Hayden’s tests of the new bike.

“So far everything has gone really well. Obviously I need to get faster in order to be truly competitive but I already love the bike,” says Hayden. “I can’t say it’s easy to ride, it gets pretty loose on corner exit sometimes but the engine is powerful and that is important, especially in a race situation. The chassis is nice and stiff so you get plenty of feedback and I like the feeling with the front, which is really stable in the fast corners.”

Hayden, and hopefully a fully recovered Stoner, will be back on the bike Feb. 5 at the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia Feb. 5.

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