Nicky Hayden is returning to Honda, with the former MotoGP Champion signing on to race in the 2016 World Superbike Championship. Hayden, who won his MotoGP title in 2006 with Honda, will ride the CBR1000RR SP alongside Michael van der Mark on the Ten Kate-supported team.

“I’m very excited, obviously, to stick with Honda; it’s where I’ve had the most success in my career,” says Hayden. “World Superbikes is a championship that I followed closely as a kid when a lot of American riders were fighting at the front. It just seems like the right time and the right team to go with.”

Hayden will return to production-based racing for the first time since 2002 when he left the AMA Superbike Championship to compete internationally in MotoGP. Hayden won the AMA Sueprsport Championship with Honda in 1999 and the AMA Superbike title in 2002.

“I know I’ve got a lot to learn and it’s going to be a big challenge, but also I’m very motivated to start and learn what I can,” says Hayden. “I’d like to say thanks to everyone who has supported me through my MotoGP career. We had a good run but now it’s time to move on and try something different.”

[Source: Honda]