13 April 2007
Circuit-by-circuit with Nicky Hayden.
Donington Park (Great Britain): "It's a very narrow circuit and really bumpy; it remains me of American tracks. It's a track where technique is very important because of the blind corners. You have to ride with confidence and push hard, and you don't get chance to relax."
Assen (Holland): "This is one of my favourite circuits on the calendar. It's fun to ride, very fast and completely different to any other MotoGP circuit. It's a special place that you need time to get used to. It was too bad that they made the changes last year, because they took away some of the beauty of the place."
Sachsenring (Germany): "It's a left-hand track and with my dirt track experience riding on the left-hand side is pretty easy. It's also a track with two different parts. It's very narrow at the beginning but then it becomes wider towards the end of the lap. Overtaking is quite difficult, especially at the beginning of the lap, so you need to start high on the grid and make a good start to avoid falling behind."
Laguna Seca (USA): "I think Laguna's the best track on the calendar for me - it's a real rider's track. There are parts where you've got to be really smooth but there are also spots where you've got to be very aggressive too. Turn One and the Corkscrew are the ones that everybody talks about - those take a lot of guts. I like it because it's different. There isn't another track in the world that's got a Corkscrew like that - the drop away is so big. It's a tough track, some people find it a little bit bumpy and it's not the widest so it's pretty tight on a MotoGP bike. It's no secret they need to work on the safety a bit, but they've been working really hard to make it safer since we went there."
Brno (Czech Republic): "One of the best circuits on the world championship. It's a wide and flowing track, ideal for racing and it's difficult to break away. It's a great place to make up places, because there are quite a few good braking points that are perfect for overtaking."
Misano (San Marino): "I've never raced there before, just like most of the world championship riders. They've also changed the track direction and are still making changes now, so we're all going to go there with a level playing field. Fortunately the guys from the Superbike World Championship are going to race there before we do, so we'll get to learn something about the track from their two races."
Estoril (Portugal): "It's quite a hard track. It has a lot of unevenness and the layout is a bit different, with ups and downs and very tight corners. I crashed a couple of times there last year. It's not an easy circuit."
Motegi (Japan): "It has a lot of hard braking points and the surface is unusual. I like the tunnels and bridges a lot, they make it more fun. The final section is good as well; there are a series of difficult cambers where you have to brake hard."
Phillip Island (Australia): "It's my favourite circuit. The atmosphere and the location on top of a hill, surrounded by the ocean, are fantastic. Its main problem is the wind and the seagulls. Two years ago I hit one of them and it was really dangerous."
Sepang (Malaysia): "I've done a lot of laps on this circuit because we've spent several days testing here. It isn't an easy circuit because it's really long and wide. It was hard to get used to at first but, in general, I think that it's a good circuit because it has a bit of everything. Tight corners, fast sections... The grip level is very important because the track temperature increases a lot in the afternoon."
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the conversation - Add your comment
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