It's been rumored for some time that both Tommy and Nicky Hayden had a standing invite from Valentino Rossi to join him for a madcap day of sliding dirt bikes around VR46's private version of a TT course.
Rossi has a private off-road course in Tavullia, Italy that Rossi and pals call "Area 46".
Tommy helped Rossi buy a Harley-Davidson XR750 miler and was seen offering some personal dirt track riding tips to Dr Nine Time during the process.
Looks like Nick Hayden took Rossi up on his offer and rode there yesterday with his double ex-teammate Rossi, friends of Rossi and other notables. Judging by the photos that have leaked out, everyone was able to leave under their own power and were all smiles when the day finished.
We don't know any of the details of the day Rossi and Hayden had, but somehow we think it was probably not a lot like that scene from On Any Sunday where Mert Lawwill, Steve McQueen and Malcom Smith were out "cow-trailing" and it's all camaraderie and fun, even when McQueen borks it and drops his bike.
We remain skeptical that the concept of "cow trailing" even exists in Nick Hayden's head. Oh, sure, he'll ride wheelies on a scooter or jump his XR50 if he's bored, but putt-putt riding with slow guys, playing grab ass? Somehow we think not. Like a Marine trained to go for the throat any time he pulls his boots on, Nick Hayden with a helmet on is not someone who plays grab ass.
We have advised persons who have received invites to ride dirt bikes at "Earl's International Raceway" with all or some of the Hayden brothers. The advice is this:
Oh, sure, if you're JD Beach or Jake Zemke then by all means, go, ride, enjoy yourself. But if you're Joe Mortal, beg off.
Trying to keep pace with fellows who could probably load up and qualifyeven todayfor any pro level dirt track they decided to do isn't a place for "On Any Sunday-ers". Worst case scenario is that you'd leave OWB with one shoulder hanging six inches below the other. Maybe the best case scenario is that you don't get sucked into going faster than you've ever gone in your life, but then you've breathed in and swallowed so much roosted dirt that yousorry poop blood for a week.
The photos leaked show a smiling crew and everyone with level collarbones. We wonder if Nick uncorked it, but then knowing Nick, we really don't have to wonder.