Hayden backs Dovi for Ducati
Nicky Hayden has backed Andrea Dovizioso's bid to join him at Ducati next season, saying the Italian is the "best choice."
With Rossi off to Yamaha next season, Hayden has been left without a teammate but with several candidates, including Dovizioso, vying for the job.
According to rumours in the MotoGP paddock, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider has already told his team bosses that he won't be there next season although has yet to put pen to paper on a Ducati deal.
But when - or if - that happens, Hayden reckons Ducati would have made the right choice.
"If it's Dovi, I think he's probably the best choice out there," said the American. "He's got good experience. I'm happy.
"(He's) spent years at Honda, then now Yamaha, and now come there. I think his experience can be beneficial to our engineers.
"How he'll go on the Ducati, we'll have to wait and see. Of course, I think one of the good things, Dovi doesn't make a lot of mistakes when he rides.
"He's pretty precise, and that's important. Because if you make a lot of mistakes on the Japanese bike, when you get on the Ducati, that's just double.
"Well, maybe not double, but more. So hopefully he can bring some knowledge and help us make a good bike if he does come. And I look forward to having a strong teammate."