Just released off Ducati.com NICKY HAYDEN TO JOIN CASEY STONER AT DUCATI MOTOGP TEAM Ducati Corse hereby announces that Nicky Hayden will join its factory MotoGP team for 2009. The 27-year-old from Owensboro, Kentucky, will line up alongside Casey Stoner and will make his debut on the Desmosedici GP9 on the 27th October in a test immediately following the Valencia Grand Prix. Hayden arrives at Ducati after six years in MotoGP with Honda, the highlight coming in 2006 when he was crowned World Champion. His aggressive riding style and amenable character have made him an extremely popular rider - both on the track and off it. "We are really happy to have Nicky join us," declared Claudio Domenicali, Ducati Corse CEO and Ducati Motor Holding Product Director. "We are certain that his never-say-die attitude, riding style and character will be great additions to our team in 2009. I would like to thank HRC for allowing Nicky to start testing our bike immediately after the Valencia Grand Prix. I would also like to thank Marco Melandri for his professionalism during a difficult year, which was below all our expectations. Unfortunately his feeling with the Desmosedici was never good enough to allow him to ride as well as he can. We wish him all the best for the future."