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Fun turns to fade in Hayden home race

"The first few laps were probably the most fun I've had all year" - Nicky Hayden.
The only rider to choose the softer option front tyre was a brave, or perhaps desperate, move that came back to haunt Nicky Hayden in his home Indianapolis MotoGP on Sunday.

But the Ducati rider felt he had no choice, having struggled to make the harder compound work during practice.

Starting eighth on the grid for his first race with the GP11.1, the softer rubber helped Hayden run as high as fourth during a combative display in the opening laps. But the front tyre was soon suffering and Hayden dropped all the way down to last place.

“The first few laps were probably the most fun I've had all year," recalled Hayden. "It was the first time I've been able to put up any kind of real fight in the dry. But it didn't last long.

"Our biggest problem is pushing the front. We couldn't make the hard tyre last because it pushed even worse. So we thought 'Go with the soft tyre'," he explained.

"Yesterday in qualifying, I was able to make the soft tyre last, but the first few laps of the race I was going so hard I destroyed it. There was no rubber left. Then it was out of balance, and I really couldn't even ride."

The tyre problem got so bad that the former double Indy podium finisher pitted, before returning to claim two points for 14th and last place.

Even if he had started with the harder tyre, Hayden isn't sure it would have made much difference.

"Yesterday, we couldn't make the hard tyre last, either. Other Ducati riders went with the hard front tyre and had to pit in the race too. So I'm really not sure it was going to make a big difference, either way," he said.

"Hopefully, we can somehow take some of the data and stuff we've learned from this weekend on that bike.

"Sorry to all my US fans and the Ducati fans here who came to support us, but we'll try again next week.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Hayden pulls into the pits, Indianapolis MotoGP Race 2011
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greenenvy22 - Unregistered

August 29, 2011 3:25 PM

Raw, The commentators were saying during the race that with the rear at least, the soft was lasting longer than the hard. This was because the hard was graining more. I guess they thought it was worth a shot, and they didn't have much to lose anyway.

maidguitar

August 29, 2011 9:57 PM
Last Edited 1922 days ago

Holy cow people, are you even able to read? Even if you really aren't, allow me to try and spell it out in a different way in hopes you can understand what went on here, credits to the Eurosport commentators. The GP11.1 solved a lot of REAR-END grip problems. This made it so the REAR-END had MORE grip than the front. Having more grip in the REAR makes the FRONT push. Softer front tires give the front MORE GRIP. This means that in relevance to the REAR, the FRONT was pushing LESS with the softer tire. Pushing the front tire destroys it. The Ducati team thus came to the conclusion that the SOFT FRONT with MORE GRIP in relation to the rear PUSHED LESS given Nicky's setup, and therefore lasted LONGER than the HARDER one would have anyway. Turns out it made no real difference as two other Ducati riders with hard fronts had to pull in anyway, and a third tucked it. Was worth a gamble if the hard wasn't going to work anyway.



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