MotoGP - Hayden operation

Newly-crowned MotoGP World champion Nicky Hayden will miss the final test of the year at Jerez in Spain as he has returned to the United States for possible surgery to his right shoulder.

The Kentucky rider had aggravated a shoulder injury at the penultimate round of the season in Portugal in a collision with Honda team mate Dani Pedrosa.

Hayden, 25, had kept it quiet, so as not to give Italian title rival Valentino Rossi, who went into the last race in Valencia with an eight-point lead, any more of a psychological advantage.

Rossi crashed in the Spanish race, ending years of domination of the top category and handing Hayden his first championship.

The surgery may entail the removal of a metal plate which was previously inserted in his shoulder.

MotoGP teams will now re-group for the final test in 2006, as a pre-2007 season test at Jerez in Spain between November 28 and 30, where everybody involved will be hoping to develop further the high potential already shown by their 800cc Grand Prix motorcycles.