Factory Ducati MotoGP star Nicky Hayden
recently took part in a media teleconference hosted by Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This is what he had to say...
Nicky, you guys have tested already twice in Sepang and you made some really good progress it seemed like in the second test. The bike seemed to come alive and you got closer to the pace set by the Hondas and the Yamahas. Was there a real breakthrough or was there a evolution in the GP13?
Well, unfortunately I would say there wasn't a huge breakthrough and it wasn't quite that dramatic. It is true that we definitely reduced the gap to the front on some things. The track probably wasn't as good for the second test, there was a lot of rain during the night and a lot of guys wasn't as fast, and me and Dovi were quicker than the first test and reduced the gap to two seconds to 1.5 or 1.4 or something.
It still is a lot. It is clear that we still have a lot of work to do, but we left there feeling a little bit more positive with some of the new things that we tested. It was stuff that we tried, we kind of hit on a couple things, so it was nice to find direction. If I am honest, the flight home after the first test was pretty rough.
New management this year, new ownership of the team with Audi coming in and buying Ducati and Bernhard Gobmeier running the team. Is there a distinct difference with the way the team has been ran in the past and if so, what is the most noticeable change with the new faces?
No, I would say inside the team there is not huge changes. Most of my core guys are pretty much the same. A lot of the same engineers that we have had and of course on Dovi's side there are a lot of new faces. But for me there hasn't been too much change in that regard. Of course, a new management style and a little bit of a different approach, but I would say they haven't come in and turned things upside down at the moment.
If you see some different things and different ways of working at the moment, no huge changes. I still feel pretty comfortable and not too much to adjust and the bike at the moment is still last year's bike there hasn't been a lot of changes from the new management just yet.
Hey there Nick, on my other screen right now I am watching Daytona live timing and scoring. I am guessing you may be down there or not. I just want to as Qatar as a race to you, do you kind of feel like it is the odd man out? Like Daytona here in the U.S. with the big gap.
Not particularly. I was watching Daytona a bit on and off today, too. But no I am not there, no. Not really, I don't think there is a big gap. I think they have a two months off after Daytona and we have a week off and then the season picks up straight away from there. It feels odd out because it is a night race and it is the only night race of the year. I like the night race. I am glad that not every race is a night race but for the first race of the year it is really cool. We pretty well have to go racing right after Qatar. From there we have one week off, and then we go racing from there. Then Austin, then one week off then Jerez then things really pick up in Europe.