Well, that top spot is always a lot nicer than the two spots beside them. I've had four fourth places this year, and the difference between podium and winning is huge. We know the level in MotoGP is really high. Lorenzo and Dani, who has been winning the last couple, are strong. So I know to think about a win, man, that's out there. But that's always the goal. I have the team to do it, the bike. All the pieces are there. So, Brno is the race leading up to it, with a test on the Monday. Obviously, we've got big goals, and I believe in myself. So we'll go for it, for sure.
For years, guys were asked about Valentino Rossi, and now the questions are about Lorenzo. What does it take to beat a guy like Lorenzo? What are you looking at when you try and take him down?
The thing he's proven this year is that he's really solid. Last year he had the speed, but we'd see a few mistakes here or there at the track. This year, he's qualified first or second or finished first or second in every race this year. So he's really showed no weaknesses. So to really answer your question, at the moment, he's not showing any weaknesses. So we'll keep monitoring the situation, I guess, and see what develops. But now, nothing.
Nicky, are you sick? You're starting to sound like Earl there.
Yeah, actually I don't feel bad. But I've lost my voice. I think five races in six weeks in five different countries, and follow up with a race at home, with a lot going on, just I lost my voice. But actually I feel fine. No, no drama there.
I didn't get a chance to talk to you Sunday night, but I was hoping you'd recap the race a little bit. I know you got a bad start, but it looks like you had a battle all the way through to the end.
The actual race wasn't too bad. It was about as much as we could have hoped for all weekend. I wasn't happy with how the weekend had actually went. I was seventh, eighth in most all the sessions, during the sessions, with a little gap. So that battle for the podium with Rossi, Dovizioso and Spies, that group was really about a half-second faster than me all week. And a half-second at Laguna is a lot. Laguna is our shortest track in the whole championship as far as lap time. But for the race, very thankful the team. We made a few changes. We actually made a pretty big change for Sunday morning and maybe went a little too far. And then for the race, we a few small changes. Changed the weight balance, and the bike felt good in the race and was able to certainly do my best pace of the weekend by quite a ways. I can't be disappointed too bad with the race because after practice and qualifying, you know going into the race you're not just drop a second. I was able to drop about a half of a second. That's a big thanks to the team to keep working hard. The podium was only about a second in front of me, which I think I've had about four or five of those now this year. So that's not cool. But regardless, the race wasn't as bad as it could have been but certainly not as good as we had hoped on the way out there.
Gentlemen. Rog, I wonder if you can tell the press who weren't at Laguna how the test on the Moto2 bike went in the extreme heat, the desert heat, there in California.
Roger Lee Hayden:
The test was really good, especially for the first test with the new bike. The Erion guys, they've built a lot of 600s, but they've never built a Moto2 bike. So there's a lot of different things they can do to it. And, as usual, we had a few little problems with the data to begin with, with some sensors and stuff. But not a whole lot. It was tough, 110 degrees, so it wasn't easy for me or the mechanics. But we get it running pretty quick right away. Some lap times that we know a couple of the AMA teams that have been out there before. We just kind of worked at our own pace. We had a plan, and we just stuck to it. I was just surprised at how smooth it went. And for me, it was also getting back used to riding a 600 coming from the Superbike. But I really enjoyed the bike. And I think me and the team and everybody at Honda left that test feeling encouraged for Indy.
Nick, post-race at Laguna, you said you were riding over your head, but you were going faster than ever before. That doesn't sound like the Nicky Hayden any of us have known for the last 15 years. Can you talk a little bit about what it's been like on that Ducati this season?
Well, I didn't mean over my head. Maybe the way it sounded. But just on the limit. The last five laps there, I was just pushing hard. Rossi was bringing back Dovi, and I was bringing them both back. Spies was in the mix. So I didn't necessarily maybe mean over my head, but just riding on the absolute limit, definitely on the edge and maybe even over it a little bit. That's what it takes right now in MotoGP. We've seen this week. How many crashes were there this weekend and even during the race? Dani at the front was riding on the limit, and that's what it takes.