This just in:
NICKY HAYDEN PULLS OUT OF ITALIAN GP
DRIVE M7 Aspar rider unable to continue due to wrist pain; plans to undergo surgery in Italy next Tuesday
After completing just eleven laps yesterday DRIVE M7 Aspar rider Nicky Hayden took the decision just moments before this morning's third free practice session for the Italian Grand Prix that he will take no further part in the sixth round of the MotoGP World Championship. Nicky has suffered with the problem since round four in Spain but treatment in between races has allowed him to continue racing. However, at such a demanding circuit as Mugello the swelling and pain became unbearable and the best option for 'The Kentucky Kid' was to pull out.
Hayden is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery at 8am next Tuesday here in Italy. The exploratory operation will be conducted by hand specialist Riccardo Luchetti, who will hopefully be able to identify the cause of the problem whilst cleaning up the affected area and reducing the swelling so that Nicky can return to competitive action as soon as possible.
Nicky Hayden: "My wrist isn't getting any better so as hard a decision as it is to take the best thing for me is to listen to the doctors and skip this race. We need to stop thinking about riding and start thinking about a plan for the operation next week and my subsequent recovery. Mugello is a fast and physical circuit at the best of times but with the pain and loss of strength in my right hand it was getting really difficult to brake properly and it was risky to continue. It is a shame to miss any race but especially Mugello, a circuit I love. It's also a shame for the team because we are really starting to build something together and we are understanding how to make progress more quickly during the weekend. My mechanics are working hard to make things easy for me and to give me the chance to get faster. I feel bad to miss this round, for the team and the sponsors."