Nicky's gotta win it on his own.
have rejected any suggestion that they will invoke team orders to assist Nicky Hayden’s MotoGP world championship campaign.
There will be no team orders for factory Repsol Honda
teammates Hayden and Dani Pedrosa at the season-ending Portuguese and Valencia Grand Prixs. The Portugal GP is scheduled next week, on October 15.
The scene is now set for a head-to-head dogfight between Hayden and Yamaha
rival Valentino Rossi, who is bidding for a sixth consecutive crown, Hayden in search of his first world title.
Hayden leads Rossi by just 12 points, with Pedrosa now fourth and seemingly out of real contention. The little Spaniard is 34 points behind Hayden, who will be left to fight a lone battle against Rossi.
The worst outcome for Hayden would be if Pedrosa finishes ahead of him in either of the final two races.
Satoru Horiike, the managing director of the Honda Racing
Corporation, has confirmed Honda’s long-held policy of no team orders.
“I have always said that Honda never, ever makes any team orders,” Horiike said.
“If we make team orders then this is not good for anyone -- not for the fans, for the riders, for the mechanics or anyone in the team. We will not do it.”
American ace Hayden says he has not heard a word about team orders within the HRC squad, although he privately hopes that he could count on Pedrosa’s backup in a tight championship.
“Team orders are a pretty touchy subject, but I would like to think Dani would do anything he could do to help me because I know that if it was the other way around I would try and help,” Hayden said.
But Dani is not completely out of it yet, so I guess we have to wait until after Portugal. With a guy like him as a teammate, a guy I respected, then I think I would do anything to help my guy out -- but I don’t know how Dani feels.”
Hayden said he had not spoken to Pedrosa about the situation and, somewhat jokingly, added, “If Dani could beat Rossi for me, that would be a big help!”
It would, but only if Hayden is ahead of both riders, thus expanding the points gap between Hayden and Rossi.
As the season reaches a tense conclusion Hayden needs to finish ahead of Rossi, in any position, in one or both of the remaining two races.
In races that both riders have finished since the mid-season Dutch TT, Rossi has beaten Hayden six times in a venomous, late-season surge.
The exception was the US GP at Laguna Seca, which Hayden won, with Rossi failing to finish when his overheated Yamaha motor forced him out of the race.
The US outcome was a valuable, 25-point swing for Hayden. But in the other six races since Assen, Rossi has caught up a massive 59 points
-- almost 10 points a race on Hayden.
Rossi has failed to score in three races out of 15 so far, because of technical issues -- in China with a faulty Michelin
front tire and then with Yamaha engine failures in France and America.
Rossi has won five races to Hayden’s two, with the Kentucky Kid scoring points in every race so far with an impressive run of consistency.
Like Rossi, Hayden has also had to deal with some technical issues, most importantly the embarrassing, and on-going, clutch problem with his new generation RC211V -- a problem not experienced by Pedrosa who uses the earlier and different specification RCV.
There is little doubt the clutch has cost Hayden a chance of points this season, most recently with poor starts at the Japanese and
While MotoGP is a different world from AMA Superbike
racing, Hayden has observed that factory teams in the AMA back the lead rider in a championship chase, including the preferential allocation of qualifying tires with pole position paying one, often valuable, championship point in the AMA series.</SPAN>