2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden will stay in the premier class for at least two more years after signing a deal to ride a Honda for the Aspar Team in 2014 and 2015.
Hayden, from Owensboro, Ky., will ride a Honda RC1000R for Aspar, a Spanish privateer team run by former 125cc World Champion Jorge "Aspar" Martinez.
The bike is a "customer" version of Honda's RC213V prototype and is believed to be only a small step down in specification from Honda's factory machine, upon which rookie and 2013 Red Bull Indianapolis GP winner Marc Marquez is leading the World Championship this season. Retired World Champion Casey Stoner is testing the bike for Honda this year, and he recently said the machine's performance exceeded his expectations.
The move to Aspar ends a frustrating five-year stint as a Ducati factory rider and signals a return to Honda for Hayden, 32. He raced for the Repsol Honda factory team for the first six seasons of his MotoGP career, from 2003-08, and won the world title with Honda in 2006. He has earned all three of his career MotoGP victories on a Honda.