MotoGP: Nicky Hayden & Andrea Dovizioso set for Ducati test
Nicky Hayden insists he is not feeling under any added pressure as he enters the final year of his MotoGP contract with Ducati this season.
Hayden, 31, won the world title in 2006 for Honda but has not won a grand prix since, managing just three podiums in the last four years at Ducati.
Speaking at the team's 2013 launch in Italy, Hayden said: "I wouldn't be waiting for results even if I was on a three or five-year contract.
"Racers don't think like that really."
Ducati won the world title with the now retired Casey Stoner in 2007, but have faded since.
- MotoGP starts: 167
- Wins: Three
- Podiums: 28
- Points: 1508
- Titles: 2006 (Repsol Honda)
Their disappointing two-year relationship with nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi came to an end this winter, and it is another Italian, Andrea Dovizioso, who partners Hayden in the famous red colours this season.
Dovizioso, 26, had a strong season as Cal Crutchlow's team-mate at Tech 3 Yamaha in 2012 and is pleased to have Hayden alongside him in the garage this year.
Speaking at the the 23rd annual Wrooom event, shared with the Ferrari Formula One team at the scenic ski resort of Madonna di Campiglio in North-East Italy, Dovizioso said: "I'm happy to have Hayden as my team-mate.
"He has always been extremely correct as a rider and there is a reciprocal desire to work together.
"He has already told me what his ideas are and I think that he is a very nice person. It's not easy to find a person like him within the world championship."
For Dovizioso the 2013 season will be his third consecutive year on different machinery. He finished fourth in the championship in 2012 on a Yamaha and contested the previous three years onboard a factory Honda.
Having spent only 90 minutes on board the notoriously difficult Ducati at a weather-affected test in Valencia last year, Dovizioso was reluctant to comment on how the bike compares to its Japanese rivals but stressed that Ducati will have to make their own way in development.
"We do not have to try to copy any other bike because if you try to copy someone else's bike, you're always going to be behind that specific bike," he said. "Each maker has his own philosophy."
- MotoGP starts: 88
- Wins: One
- Podiums: 22
- Points: 986
- Titles: None
Ducati Corse General Manager Bernhard Gobmeier was also present at Wrooom and, following the GP13 bike´s unveiling on the mountain top, confirmed that there have been no radical changes from the GP12 that Hayden and Valentino Rossi finished the season on last year, stressing that the focus was on "evolution not revolution."
Gobmeier said: "We will start on [the GP12] as our basis. This bike was brand new during last season and we think that its development is not at the optimum yet, there is still a lot of potential which has not been explored totally.
"We have some things in the planning on the chassis side, electronics side and also on the engine side which have to be proven first of all before it goes into the next step of evolution."
Rossi's doomed two year spell at Ducati saw a series of major changes at a huge cost to the factory while only providing four podiums, and Gobmeier is keen to change tactics now.
"I believe the riders have been confused in the past with a lot of changes," he said.
"I think it is better not to confuse the riders or ourselves with solutions that are not proven yet. So this will be our new approach to the development of this bike."
The GP13 will get its next outing at the first of 2013´s pre-season tests in Sepang on 5 February, with the first race in Qatar on 7 April.