Hayden won’t ‘give Miller a kiss’ after Phillip Island clash

Nicky Hayden admits he has no interest in giving Jack Miller a smooch following their run-in in the closing stages of the Australian Grand Prix, despite Miller apologising after the race.

Hayden won’t ‘give Miller a kiss’ after Phillip Island clash
Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda Team
Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda Team
Jack Miller, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS
Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda Team
Jack Miller, Marc VDS
Jack Miller, Marc VDS
Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda Team
Jack Miller, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS
Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda Team
Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda Team

The pair of Honda riders were part of a fevered battle over seventh place in the final portion of the race, a group that also included the likes of Scott Redding, Bradley Smith, and Danilo Petrucci.

It all came to a head early in the penultimate lap, Miller’s attempt the pass Hayden – making a one-off start for the works Honda team in place of an injured Dani Pedrosa – meeting a closed door at Turn 4.

The pair made contact, which sent Hayden to the ground and out of the race, while Miller went on to finish 10th at his home event.

In his press briefing after the race, Miller made it clear that his first job was going to be to apologise to Hayden.

“I just put my bike underneath him, I’m not sure if he saw me or not but he just kept turning,” explained Miller. “He just didn’t stand up. I’m sorry to had to have hit him, but that’s racing I guess.”

Hayden later explained that he had indeed received an apology from Miller, but that he was still a little disappointed with how it went down.

“I didn’t see him," said the American. "That corner, you hear people, and that corner every lap you feel people [coming]. Out of my peripheral vision, I was looking up, and I didn’t see him until I felt him.

“He came and said sorry. It’s racing, that can happen. I don’t want to go and give him a kiss, but you know… it’s what happens.”

Hayden then admitted that he had made a few forceful moves of his own during the battle for seventh: “[Did] anyone say I did any tough ones? I’m curious because I also squeezed a couple in there. 

“Truthfully, I think Jack just wanted to beat me, and the two Ducatis they just wanted to beat each other. There were some moves for sure, and some rubber exchanged. But I didn’t see anything too hard.

“I really thought I could win that battle for seventh. I’m sure everybody in that group thought they could win that battle, but I had a few places, especially on the right side, my tyre was still really good. I was ready to fight for it the last couple of laps."

Satisfied with Repsol return

While unable to make it to the finish, Hayden says the fact that he was fighting inside the top 10, on a weekend where dry running was effectively non-existent until Sunday, was an indication that his one-off Repsol comeback went well.

“Of course I have big expectations," said the former champion. "But to be in the Top 10 all weekend, with all the different conditions, and being on a new bike and with a new team, I think considering everything I was doing a good job for the team.”

Hayden also pointed out that it was a little surreal to be working with former teammate Pedrosa’s crew all these years later.

“[The team] were able to help me a lot," he said. "A few of the guys I’ve worked with before, I few of the guys I joked were on Dani’s side before, and now working with them seemed different.”

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