Nicky Hayden may have finished Friday's wet free practice session at Estoril a close second fastest, but the Ducati rider is concerned that it's taking him too long to get up to full speed.

That's not a problem in practice, but if Sunday's race is wet the American knows he will suffer badly is he can't run a high pace from the start.

Hayden, like most riders, didn't even leave the pits in the morning session.

"This morning there was too much water on track to be able to ride, it was like a river, so we had to wait until the afternoon to check a few things," he said.

"This track doesn't have a lot of grip, especially on the rear. It's not a very abrasive surface but I had a really good feeling on the front - we just need to make some improvements on the rear.

"We know the Ducati works well in the rain because the engine management system is good and that gives us a lot of control. Lately I've been quite fast in wet conditions but it takes me too long to get there.

"If it's a wet race on Sunday and I'm going to be competitive then we need to be fast from the start so that's an area we need to work on if it rains again tomorrow."

Team-mate Casey Stoner, winner of three of the last four races, was fourth quickest.

"We feel we could and should have been faster today but we struggled for some reason with edge grip," said the Australian. "When I picked up the bike the traction was good but on the edge it wasn't. We also had some problems with the front brakes and I was having to adjust in every corner.

"Saying that, we're quite happy. I felt confident in these conditions and it looks like we're going to have more of the same over the remainder of the weekend. We have work to do but for the moment I feel comfortable."


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