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Interview with Nicky Hayden

This is a bit of a follow-up question from the previous one. But in Qatar, it looked like you were quite comfortable on the bike, and then we saw the unfamiliar spectacle of a Ducati being passed almost at will on the front straight by the Honda. Do you believe, A., that this may be partly due to the revised firing order that improved delivery, and if so, do you think Ducati can respond to that with more power while still surviving under the new engine restrictions, or regulations, with the limited number of engines?

Nicky Hayden:
Well, the big thing is that we didn't gain anything on top. It's just a fact when you do that, you get more torque and more in the bottom. You have to lose a little somewhere. But the Honda is quick. All winter, everybody: “Ah, the Honda, what's wrong, what's wrong?” But it was certainly quick in a straight line. Compared to the Yamaha, I had more legs than him, but Dovi was strong. As far as development goes, the engines are pretty well sealed. Now it's not like we're going to be able to change a lot with the engines. But we're always working on things with electronics, aerodynamics. There's ways to try to get down the straightaway quicker. But to be fair, the last corner in Qatar, I wasn't getting off the corner great. And I knew all weekend I kind of struggled there with the balance of the electronics, with the traction control, and wasn't getting the power down. And I knew it was a problem. We'd seen it on the video, seen it on the data. But I didn't realize it was such a problem until in the race. If I could go back and do something different, I certainly would change my transmission to try to get off that corner a lot
better because that really killed me. If I could have did some stuff better there, I certainly would have been able to put up a better fight. But we try to learn from it.

Do you feel like it's also partly down to different tracks and that the characteristics of your motor might be better suited to something more technical?

Nicky Hayden:
Yeah. I think that was one race, at night, where the air is so different, where the climate is so different, being so dry. So I think we hold off on making any conclusions and get to some different tracks with different climate and see if it's the case. But I know Ducati can see the problem. Even last year, I didn't have great top speed. But I was normally too far back for anybody to see it. It was just me telling them. Now I think they see. And they have worked a lot with me this winter to try to improve my aerodynamics and with the bike, and to get some better top speed. And it has helped. But we still got some more work to go. But our engine, I think, should be very suited to a lot of tracks. I'm happy with the engine.

I've got a question for you about Indy. You‟ve finished on the podium twice on different motorcycles, the Honda and the Ducati at IMS. What about the track or about the event suits you and suits your style so well?

Nicky Hayden:
I do really like the track. It's quite technical. Even though the guys have been there, being inside the oval is a little something that I grew up on as far as racing Daytona, Loudon, Colorado. Maybe that gives me a little bit of edge. I'm not sure. The first year was in the rain. Last year was in the dry; a couple people tipped over. That helped me a bit. I like the long left-handers. It's very technical. One thing that we talked about is it's kind of got different pavement. The new part is quite different than in the back, so it's really a challenge for the riders and teams to make a compromise on something that works on all different parts of the track because it's got everything. Hard braking, some tight, twisty bits, some pretty fast, flowing stuff, a little bit different pavement.

How do you feel about Livio Suppo having left the team and you've got Vito as your new boss?

Nicky Hayden:
Yeah, you know, Livio leaving was a big change and a big change for all of us. Sure, there's things that he brought to the team that we miss, but Vito stepped in and did a great job so far. I've really been impressed with some of the things he did. I've been a supporter of his from the beginning. A lot of people thought it was going to be too much for the guy with no real experience in that position. No, I think we've got a good setup. We've got Alessandro taking care of all the media, and all the press and stuff, which especially in Italy, every day is a fight with those guys. Where Vito, he don't have to worry about sponsors, marketing, nothing else. He can focus entirely on getting that team right and getting everybody in the right place. So far we're off to a good start, and I think he's a big asset to our team.

How much data do you actually share with Casey? People obviously here that the Yamaha guys don't share much data between the two of them, between Jorge and Vale. But between yourself and Casey, do you share much data or is it pretty much each man to himself?

Nicky Hayden:
We share data and anything we want. To their credit, it's open book around there. Even between Kallio's crew chief to Barbera's, they all work out of the same truck, and everybody's playing for the same team around there, to try to beat the other manufacturers. (lost line)

Giorgio, you all set?


Related Pictures

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docc - Unregistered

April 22, 2010 5:00 PM

I really don't udnerstand why some people have such a hatred of Nicky. He won the 2006 title. Deal with it. He's polite decent guy, never complains, just gets on with it and he's a great role model for kids. Go round the paddock and I'm sure there will be many, many others who feel the same. If he gets a win this season, just listen to the cheers he will get from the fans and other riders!! Forza Nicky!

Yamaha-M1 Fan. - Unregistered

April 22, 2010 6:27 PM

One of the most likeable riders around the MotoGP paddock I mean he took all that crap of Honda when he was with them yet he never said a bad thing about it just got on with the task and did his best. Ths guy deserves every bit of respect.

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