This is the time of year when deals get made in MotoGP. Deals for riders. Deals for sponsors. Deals for team personnel.
And so far no deal has been made between Nick Hayden and LCR Honda for a "customer" RC213V next season beside the factory Honda of Stefan Bradl. The problem - as always in these flaccid economic times - is money.
Cecchinello said he is halfway home to his estimated budget of between 3 and 3.3 million euros, thanks to commitments from Honda, Givi and Rizoma. It was rumored that the second half would come from Italian electronic gate and door manufacturer CAME, which sponsors the CRT entries from IodaRacing this season in the premier class.
But CAME has not decided to leave IodaRacing for LCR, and no new sponsors have sprouted, Cecchinello said.
"That's why it does not look good for an extension of the team to two riders," Cecchinello said to German media. "In Misano, it will once again be talks with Honda. Then I know more. But for me, no world collapses when it does not work. We then focus entirely on as planned Stefan Bradl."
Outside of LCR, Hayden's options for a seat next season appear to be distilling to racing either a Ducati Panigale as a factory-paid rider in World Superbike or a Yamaha customer M1 with Forward Racing.
Ducati boss Bernhard Gobmeier has all but admitted the Boys from Bologna have made a contract offer for the popular Hayden to ride the Panigale, keeping The Kentucky Kid in the Italian family. And Hayden tested the bike reportedly at record pace last week.
But Hayden has said repeatedly he wants to race a competitive bike next season.
No one knows the performance potential of the "customer" M1. It's based on the World Championship pedigree of Yamaha's factory bikes and should be a competitive package. But there's little doubt the Forward ride will put less money into Hayden's pocket than a deal from the Ducati factory for World Superbike.
It's known that the Ducati offer to Hayden came with a factory MotoGP-level rider salary. Hayden would easily be the highest paid rider in WSBK if he accepted the offer.
A huge, challenging choice looms for Hayden but it might be interesting to note that the major backroom players in this--HRC and an energy drink sponsor--are not pacing the floor just yet because the deal isn't done.
Additionally it's thought that DORNA also is in on the meetings to try and put Hayden on a customer 213V. Why DORNA? Consider that there may be as many as three, and assuredly two, MotoGP events in America next season. Are US promoters going to sell seats at their races based on having just a still convalescing Ben Spies and Colin Edwards II on the grid? That might be why DORNA is in on the talks.