Hayden 'planning to stay with Honda'
Unsurprisingly, MotoGP World Championship leader Nicky Hayden claims he is planning to stay with Repsol Honda for what would be a fifth season in 2007.
However, the 25-year-old American is yet to sign, possibly because he is holding out for a better deal from HRC or because he is seriously considering other options.
Should Hayden win the world title then his bargaining power would obviously be significantly increased, a valid reason for the delay, but he may also feel that HRC is building its future too closely around 20-year-old rookie team-mate Dani Pedrosa, who sits second in the championship and 25 points behind the #69.
Nicky's two options of interest outside Honda would be a switch to the factory Yamaha or factory Ducati teams - both of which currently have one seat spare for 2007 (alongside Valentino Rossi at Yamaha and Loris Capirossi at Ducati).
"I'm more focussed on this year, I don't want to look too far ahead and get wrapped up worrying about the future, said Nicky of his future. "My plan, if things work out, is to stay with Honda but I have a few good things going... Right now it's all about trying to win the title and enjoying these last five races."
The Japanese Grand Prix on September 24, the home event for Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki, is likely to see many of the still-to-sign riders finalise their 2007 plans, which will be the first season of 800cc racing.