Nicky Hayden has confirmed that he will lose his Ducati MotoGP seat at the end of 2013.
The 2006 MotoGP champion has been a factory Ducati rider since ’09, when he joined from Honda. Ducati has struggled in recent seasons and has not won a race since Casey Stoner’s triumph in the 2010 Australian Grand Prix.
Reports of a change in the rider line-up surfaced earlier this week, and Hayden acknowledged at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Thursday that he would not be retained.
“I’m not coming back to Ducati in MotoGP. They’ve chosen to go a different way,” he said. “Unfortunately, these results the last few years haven’t been what we hoped. Nobody likes to get sacked, but that’s what happens.”
Hayden has only taken three podium finishes in his five and a half seasons with Ducati, the last of them at Jerez in 2011. His last race victories came during his title-winning season in 2006.
The 31-year-old American moved into MotoGP with Honda in 2003 straight from the AMA Superbike series in his homeland.
2014 MOTOGP SEAT UNLIKELY
Hayden said he had options for 2014, but admitted they were unlikely to be in MotoGP.
“I really don’t know my future. I have a couple of things going, some interesting stuff,” he said. “In MotoGP it doesn’t look so good. This is the biggest show in the world; MotoGP’s where my heart is. But I don’t just want to run around and try to get a point here or there.
“There are only so many seats in MotoGP. That’s tough. There are only 12 official bikes and most of them are spoken for.
“I’ll take in all the options, weigh them out, see which one I’m most excited about and see which one’s most fun.”
Ducati currently fields Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso as its works MotoGP riders, and placed Ben Spies and Andrea Iannone at the satellite Pramac team, only for both their seasons to be disrupted by injuries.