MotoGP »

Hayden heads to Japan.

Nicky Hayden will start his first Japanese Grand Prix without the pressure of being a 'home' Honda rider this weekend, as the American's attention is instead focussed on getting up to speed with his new Ducati machinery.

Hayden recovered from a host of setbacks to climb from 16th to twelfth during his Desmosedici race debut, in the rain delayed Qatar night race. The result was nothing to shout about, but Hayden - perhaps for the first time - felt comfortable on the carbon-fibre GP9.

“My first GP with Ducati didn't exactly go as I'd hoped but we took some positives out of it - I lapped quicker in the second half of the race than I had done all weekend and above all I felt comfortable on the bike,” he said.

“Hopefully this will help us work out what it is exactly that I need to improve my feeling with the bike because being so far off the pace in practice wasn't cool!”

Hayden's nightmare Losail weekend included multiple technical failures and a huge qualifying accident that left the 2006 world champion with severe pain in his back and three stitches in his chest.

“Physically I'm okay - no doubt the race was tough because I was pretty beaten up but I've recovered well and I don't expect to have any problems in Japan,” he said. “I'll probably go to the Clinica on Thursday to have the stitches removed and that will be the end of the matter.

“I'm really keen to do well in this race and even though I've always had a kind of love-hate relationship with Motegi - with some good results and some bad ones - it is always a special grand prix.”

Hayden's best Motegi finish to date is third place on his 2003 debut.

“This year we go to Motegi near the start of the season following an opening race that was fantastic for Casey [Stoner] and really tough for Nicky,” said Ducati MotoGP project director Livio Suppo. “We'll do our best to make sure we come away from this round with two happy riders!”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Hayden, Qatar MotoGP 2009
Lorenzo on Ducati debut
Lorenzo, Ducati, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Lorenzo, Ducati, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Lorenzo, Ducati, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Lorenzo, Ducati, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Lorenzo, Ducati, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Lorenzo, Ducati, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Lorenzo, Ducati, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Lorenzo, Ducati, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Lorenzo, Ducati, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Rossi, Iannone, Lorenzo, Ciabatti, Valencia MotoGP 2016
Miller, looking at the Ducati bike, Valencia MotoGP 2016
Ciabatti, Lorenzo Malaysian MotoGP race 2016
Rossi, Dovizioso, Malaysian MotoGP race 2016
Rossi, Dovizioso, Malaysian MotoGP race 2016
Dovizioso, Lorenzo, Malaysian MotoGP race 2016
Lorenzo, Malaysian MotoGP 2016

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


plug chop - Unregistered

April 20, 2009 7:48 PM

hey JT2 i can think of another rider that "launched himself in sheer desperation through the handlebars like a rookie". as a matter of fact, he did it twice in preseason... guess what his initials are JT? :p



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.