Nick, you said at Laguna that Indy is your home race. Ben Spies said home races are special because the bike is either going to be on the podium or in the crash truck. Do you hold with that? Are you going to try harder to win there than anywhere else? Friends and family, et cetera?
You know, I'm not going to make any predictions or anything silly because I really feel like I try my hardest every week. But certainly, we'll go for it. Obviously we'll see when we get there what kind of pace we got. I can't make any bold predictions just yet, but certainly your home race you need to do something special and not leave anything on the table. So that's the plan.
At Indy, you'll be racing in front of more friends and family then anywhere else correct?
Oh, yeah. By a long ways. Laguna is somewhat a home GP. But Indy, we drive. It's three hours away. I literally can see the Indiana border from my house sometimes. It's right there. I'm a Kentucky boy. We had a few of the OG's came out to Laguna, but most people, as far as friends and family, hang out and wait for Laguna. I really value my home GP because my first couple of years when I joined the World Championship, there was no stop in America. We'd go to all these races and see these guys having their home GP, and I thought how cool that was. The closest I got to home was Brazil. I thought having a three-hour flight and one-hour time change from Miami was kind of like a home GP. So now to have two of them in America, I get to take full advantage of it and really appreciate it.
Henny Ray Abrams:
Nicky, Sunday night you spoke about the problem with your hand. Is this something you're concerned about? Is there anything you can do about it between now and the race?
We talked about it with the team. I don't think so. Kind of my fingers went to sleep. It's something that hasn't happened really since back in my AMA days. I had carpal tunnel, fixed it. Went away. Haven't had a problem since. I hope it was just a fluke deal. I was out on my bicycle this morning trying to feel about, “Do I feel anything strange?” We're looking into a few things. Really just put it down to a fluke deal.
Nicky, last year at Brno, you had a pretty good tussle with Colin and finished sixth. Do you anticipate being that high again? Is that a track you like?
Brno is I think a track all riders like. It's very different than the last two tracks we went two. Sachsenring and Laguna are the two tightest, the two shortest lap times by a long ways. And the gearing is really tight. For those tracks, we're not in sixth gear much. Brno will be a big change. It's big; it's open. It's not a track that I just love. The tracks you love are the ones you get the best results on. I like Brno. I've been on the front row; I've been on the podium there. It's a track I (inaudible). Also it's important with that test. As limited as testing time is now in MotoGP, you really got to take advantage of any extra time. The motors we get to test with don't come out of our allocation. So you hope for good weather and hope to make a breakthrough. Last year at that test on the Monday, we changed something with the geometry and was able to take a little step from there. And my results improved from basically that test on. It was something we found in the last 30 minutes of the test. It had rained in the afternoon, and we had waited and waited, and the track finally dried. Everybody went out and was able to get some stuff in, so that's important.
Roger, this is Paul Kelly from IMS. One final question before we end the call, for you. Talk about what it's like to have Kevin Schwantz as a team manager. To be able to go to a guy with questions who's … he's a legend. He's an American motorcycle racing legend. He's been there; he's done that. What advantage is that for you going into Indy on that Moto2 bike, having Kevin in your camp?
Roger Lee Hayden:
For me, it's nice to have a guy like Kevin on your side. But it's an honor because Kevin was one of those guys who I looked up to when I was growing up. For him to pick me to ride his bike, he could have picked anybody in America who would have loved to jump on a good Honda at your home round, the GP. Even this weekend at Laguna, he went out and watched and came into my box and gave me some pointers and stuff. It's really beneficial. At Indy, he can go out and watch and come back and tell me. When we go to Barber next week and test, he's going to be there to watch. He gives good, positive feedback. A guy who races motorcycles is going to be able to help you a lot more than somebody who is just a bystander.
I will say to the casual American fans that the Moto2 championship hasn't really maybe caught on here in America just yet because I don't think they completely understand it. But the fans that are coming to Indy, definitely be ready for some good racing because it's 35, 40 guys all within about two seconds. And I think Rog being in there might help draw some interest to the series, and if they give it a chance, they're going to like because we've seen some really good racing this year.
That's great, that's great. Nick, you've got a future in PR after you get done with riding.
Well, I'm being serious. I know the riders; I know the teams.
I know, I know. (Laughter).
We all like it. It's been pretty entertaining, that's for sure.