Nicky Hayden shot from fifth to second on lap one of Sunday's Australian MotoGP at Phillip Island.

Unfortunately for the Ducati rider, and track record holder, things went downhill from there.

"My start actually wasn't amazing, but I think everybody else got away worse than I did," he admitted. "I was in a good position, but I really had no grip at the rear from the very beginning, and although I tried as hard as I could, I couldn't defend much when guys started coming past. Eventually I blistered the rear tyre and was just trying to make it to the finish."

Back to fifth by lap four of 27, the American was later passed by Suzuki's Alvaro Bautista and briefly by soon-to-crash team-mate Valentino Rossi.

Hayden then settled into sixth until a heavy rain shower hit the circuit in the closing laps. One of the few who elected to make the swap to a wet weather bike, Hayden wasn't able to benefit.

Instead the time lost meant he dropped from fifth, after Bautista's fall, to seventh at the flag.

"When it started to rain harder, it felt really slick. I just about lost it, and when I saw Bautista go down, I decided to come in and change bikes rather than risk doing the same," he explained.

"It's another seventh place, but I was closer to the front than I've been in most races. I felt good apart from a few places, like Turn 6, and the bike was fast. We'll try to base our future work on those positives."

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