Nicky Hayden is determined to make a strong start to the 2010 MotoGP World Championship season having made good strides with the Ducati during pre-season testing.

The former champion will begin his sophomore season with the Italian manufacturer this year, Hayden eager to put a troubled maiden campaign behind him as he looks to get more on a par with team-mate Casey Stoner.

Testing has been encouraging for the American though, Hayden setting the fifth fastest time overall during the final pre-race outing at Losail three weeks ago.

Claiming to have found a good base setting on the Desmosedici GP10, Hayden is keen to use this to kick off his season in a better fashion than last year when he finished 12th.

"Finally the first race is here! We seem to have started later than everybody else and I don't know if I could have waited any longer! Testing went fairly well - we met some of our objectives and still have a lot of work to do in other areas but overall I'm satisfied.

"We established a good base setting in Qatar and hopefully we can use that for the first race. It has been a couple of years since I made a good start to the season but I feel in good shape, the team are fully behind me and I can't wait to get started."

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