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Hayden scheduled to make 150th MotoGP start

“We've obviously tried a lot of options, probably too many and maybe got a bit confused, but it's just because we want to do well and get to the front" – Nicky Hayden.
A Ducati rider has finished on the MotoGP podium at Phillip Island, venue for this weekend's Australian Grand Prix, every year except 2006, when Sete Gibernau missed out on third by just 0.0989sec.

Nicky Hayden, who will make his 150th MotoGP start this Sunday, knows it'll be a tough task to continue that form, after a season in which he and factory team-mate Valentino Rossi have taken just one rostrum each.

“Phillip Island traditionally has been a really good track for our bike… A podium is going to be a little bit tougher this year, but we'll see what happens,” said Hayden, who just missed out on a podium last year, in a race won by team-mate Casey Stoner.

“This track is really fast, that's what sets it apart, and having the ocean in the background. When you are comfortable here you can be really fast. You have to be brave though and you need guts, especially at Turn 3. If you are tip-toeing through there it'll ruin your lap time.

"It's tougher with the wind, which around here can be really nasty. Hopefully we get some decent weather and have a good go.”

The American also commented on the amount of work his team and factory had put into the Desmosedici this year.

“We've obviously tried a lot of options, probably too many and maybe got a bit confused, but it's just because we want to do well and get to the front," said Hayden.

"I don't think Ducati has got the credit it deserves for how hard it has worked, and how hard it has tried to give me, Valentino and the rest of the Ducati riders the best opportunity to get results.

"Now we have three more chances this season before the introduction of the 1000cc bikes next year.”

Hayden will become only the ninth rider in GP history to reach the milestone of 150 starts in the premier-class.

Only two other American riders have made more premier-class GP starts than Hayden; Kenny Roberts Jr. with 167 premier-class and Colin Edwards who reached the 150-start milestone four weeks ago at the Aragon GP.

Hayden and Edwards both made their MotoGP debut at the start of 2003.



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RobG

October 13, 2011 12:34 PM

On the other hand, the signing of Rossi has failed to live up to expectations. Now Aspar are no longer going to run Ducati's in next years championship, and even Pramac are said not to have confirmed if they will run Ducati bikes next year. Why run a satellite Ducati if their factory bikes only finish mid-pack. Leaving Marlboro & Ducati to question their own committment to MotoGP.



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