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Interview with Nicky Hayden

Media teleconference with Nicky Hayden organised by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which will host round eleven of the 2012 season on August 17-19.
Welcome, Nicky, and thanks for joining us today. What about the IMS circuit suits your style? You have finished on the podium here on two very different motorcycles. One was a traditional frame in the Honda and one was a carbon-fiber frame Ducati. What about Indy just kind of jives with the way you ride?

Nicky Hayden:
Well, unfortunately those results have been a few years ago. The last couple years, I haven't really been able to put up a big fight. I like Indy, I like a track to go left, I prefer. Indy is a great example. It is a track built for cars mostly, and I grew up doing left, and most Europeans grew up going right. I don't think it is a big difference, but I do like going left, and I have had some good opportunities there, and I don't really think about that. I look forward to this year and try to put up a good fight.

How much difference did the new asphalt make last year for you guys?

Nicky Hayden:
It was a big difference. The old track wasn't too bad, but there were a few spots that were getting pretty bad. It made the track a lot more fun and a lot more fast, and I think it opened up a few places where we can pass. Last year, the track was really rough on tires, and the surface was new and was quite abrasive. But I think with a year on the track, it should be better and be the best that we have ever seen the track.

We also had rubber laid down on the road course last month with the GRAND-AM cars, and that is the first time that you guys had been there with rubber actually laid down on the road course. It used to be that you guys with the bikes were the only vehicles that raced on it since 2008, so the extra rubber that has been laid down has got to help, too.

Nicky Hayden:
Yes, for sure, to clean it up and get some of the dirt off of it. When you first laid down new pavement, it is natural that it will be sharp and be kind of gritty, but when the tires go around it and start smoothing those edges down and you can certainly have a better grip and less wear on the tires. We will see how it is, and we use a bit different line than those cars, especially going the other way, so we will have to feel it out and see how the grip is. But I don't expect any problems.

I was talking to Colin about the arm pump surgery, and I never knew this stuff existed, and I know that you have had it. Could you talk about how that is like a rite of passage for you guys? It seems like everybody gets it, and Colin said you have to be careful who does it or else you get nasty scars. How is your scar?

Nicky Hayden:
I have got a pretty lengthy scar. So I actually had it done twice. Definitely arm pump is kind of weird, it comes and goes. And is not any clear reason to what has caused it. You can have it at one track and not at another, it can be bike-related, training-related. It doesn't take much to trigger when you are hold on to a 250-horsepower bike and fighting it, especially with these carbon brakes now. We can brake so hard, and the force, especially on the right hand, is a lot. But at the moment, mine is under control, so I don't want to talk about it too much.

The one follow-up I had is since you jumped on the Indian and wore that old racing garb way back when, you kind of have been the spokesman and the front man for promoting this race at IMS. Do you still feel that way even though the results may not have been the way that you would have wanted? Do you still feel like a guy that wants to be the ambassador for promoting this race?

Nicky Hayden:
Oh, I would say so. Of course, MotoGP promotes itself. It is the show, not me. But it is my home race. Laguna is an American round, but my true home race, I have to consider Indy. It is only three hours away, just across the bridge, so a lot more of my friends and family come to the race, and I grew up racing a lot in Indiana. Dirt tracks and even road racing there, so I consider it much more my home. I do enjoy and I do feel some obligation to promote the race and give back to here and there. But once I get there, it is business as usual, and I cannot change my routine too much.


Tagged as: Misano , Ducati , Nicky Hayden , Mugello

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Dannyboy - Unregistered

August 11, 2012 10:34 PM

Hayden has always been the same way, doesn't matter if it's contract time or not. Don't matter if he is at the top of the list of wanted riders or at the bottom. He is a professonal and a genuinly nice guy.

Brian C. - Unregistered

August 12, 2012 12:19 PM

Those who bash on Hayden or think he isn't a winner are people who don't race, don't understand racing and have no clue what goes in GP. This is an AMA winner at a very young 20 years old (younger than Ben I believe) and has won a GP title as the #2 rider with the factory support behind their golden children (ala: Pedrobot). He has won despite the odds. He is indeed the HARDEST working guy in GP (those who argue otherwise are myopic). Best rider ever? Of course not. But on equal machinery he can run easily at the front with the "Aliens". Pedrobot has lots of wins, no title. Dovi sat on the factory team with how many wins? Not many and ZERO titles. Say what you want, Hayden is a winner and that's all that matters.

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