Americans hoped that there might still be a place for Nicky Hayden in MotoGP in 2016, but Honda saw a perfect opportunity to bring the Kentucky Kid to WSBK and they hoped he might give them at least a remote shot at winning the championship since James Toseland in 2007.
It wasn't to be. Even Hayden couldn't make the dated Honda CBR1000RR a contender. He did give Honda its only victory in the series in 2017 with a win in race two in Malaysia.
The mere presence of Hayden in WSBK greatly increased the visibility of that championship stateside, although many still complain of the lack of availability of beIN Sports, which hosts both WSBK and MotoGP in the U.S.
In the end, Hayden looked respectable. He was on the podium four times and scored the single victory and finished ranked fifth in the championship.
With a completely remodeled Honda CBR1000RR on tap for 2017, the hope for Hayden and his fans is that he'll finally have a machine capable of winning. Becoming the first rider to win the world championship in both Superbike and MotoGP would certainly put Hayden in the record books forever.