MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden recently said that the crash he had with his team-mate Dani pedrosa in the penultimate race of the season at Estoril, Portugal, left him with a shoulder injury, which he carried to title victory in the Valencia showdown, but which now requires surgery.
Hayden injured his shoulder after Pedrosa lost control of his Repsol Honda and slammed into the side of the American early in the Portuguese Grand Prix, dramatically destroying Nicky’s world championship lead in the process.
Hayden played down the extent of the injury before the title decider race at Valencia and snatched the crown from reigning five-times champion Rossi by finishing in third place, while the Italian crossed the line just 13th after a fall.
"I was carrying the injury in Valencia, but the adrenalin got me through," said Hayden. "I had a good race going until Valentino crashed. I’d fought from sixth and was on Troy Bayliss’s back tyre. I had nothing to lose. I thought ’win the race or crash’. There was no plan B. But when I saw ’Rossi P18’ on my pit board I couldn’t believe it. That was the longest race of my life. It seemed like it wasn’t going to end."
Because of this shoulder surgery, Hayden will miss the final test of 2006, at Jerez in Spain, from November 28-30.