Ducati's Nicky Hayden, nursing a shoulder injury throughout this week's Sepang MotoGP test, could get the chance to make up for lost time on the new Desmosedici GP12.
The American, who missed last November's Valencia post-race test due to an injury in the race, then broke his left shoulder blade and fractured two ribs while training at an indoor flat track on December 27.
The 2006 world champion, renowned for his high work rate in testing, has only been able to put in a part-time effort at Sepang this week, where he was ranked tenth fastest over all three days (with three hours of day three to go).
“I wish I could have done more and got more out of it, but when I first got hurt I wasn't even sure I could be here,” said Hayden, after concluding testing on Thursday. “At least I got to ride the new bike, not much, but could do a couple of little tests and get some laps.
“Already I'd missed Valencia so I really didn't want to miss another test. I'd like to have done three solid days and got more information, but I got a bit of data and some things to think about.”
The possible opportunity of an extra test, alongside some CRT bikes at Jerez from February 20-22, had been revealed minutes earlier by Ducati Corse general manager Filippo Preziosi:
“Nicky's condition means he 'missed' this test mainly. He needs to practice more with this bike and there are some new electronic things to test that it would be useful to have Nicky for,” said Preziosi. “That would also help us to arrive back here [for the second Sepang test] with better electronics.”
Hayden said his presence at Jerez will depend on the condition of his shoulder.
“That's only two weeks so I'm going to go back, see the doctor and how my shoulder heals,” he said. “When I first got hurt, that was when we started to plan [the Jerez test].
“Then I recovered a bit quicker than we thought so we tried here. But I didn't get the full three days so if I'm able to go [to Jerez] and recover a couple of days I've lost. That'd be really nice.”
Hayden's team-mate Valentino Rossi is currently fifth on the day three timesheets, 1.2sec behind Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner.