Name That Tune: 69 Does Not Jump On The Bandwagon
by staff
Thursday, April 26, 2012

While Valentino Rossi--deservedly or not--threw the Ducati MotoGP team under the bus after Qatar there was very little emanating from the other side of the Marlboro Ducati garage. When a nine time world champion tells the world basically that the bike has no chance, at some teams the teammate would waste little time in joining in, mid-verse.

Nick Hayden recentley suffered a very frightening carbon brake rotor failure on his bike, and even with that bizarre incident still in mind, Hayden heard Rossi 'runnin' his mouth' and said nothing.

Never threw anybody under a bus and ain't gonna start now. Nick Hayden, resilient, unbroken.
image by american honda
To anyone that knows Nick Hayden, his silence and well-grounded comments after Qatar were no surprise. A racer to his very core, Hayden is as competitive as anyone on the grid but his upbringing and blue collar roots probably prevent him from telling people he works with that, essentially, they are idiots. Character is something both easy and difficult to define. But throwing your team under the bus was not the way things were done at Earls Race team when he was four years old and it's not the way NH69 does business now.

And no doubt, if asked about Rossi's comments, Hayden would at some point look around and reply with the glaringly obvious fact that Qatar was the first race of the season. Who throws their entire team into the fiery pit after the first race, especially an oddball event run at night and in the desert?

The following is just a sketch: when all of the early teen Hayden kids were racing on the regional level and enjoyed sponsorships, as the season would close, the Hayden's would make quiet inquires as to what music each sponsor representative enjoyed listening to. Then, at the end of the season, a hand-written letter would arrive from the family, thanking the sponsor for their support. Along with the letter, would be a cassette tape of music that Earl and the kids had recorded off the radio for the sponsor to enjoy.

Not really the kind of people who throw their team under the bus, after the first race, or frankly, ever.


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