Nicky Hayden, whose most recent MotoGP podium came in last year's Spanish Grand Prix, returns to Jerez having been the top Ducati rider in round one in Qatar.

The American took the chequered flag at the head of a multi-rider battle for sixth at Losail and later travelled to Mugello for a private test aimed at making up for lost set-up time due to injuries this winter.

Poor weather limited the American's opportunities, but he was close to full fitness during the final pre-season test at Jerez in March, when he set the eighth fastest lap time.

Like many riders, Hayden sees Jerez as a second start to the MotoGP season.

"I really enjoy the Jerez GP. In some ways it's like the first race all over again, because it's a little bit different than Qatar. We're back in Europe, with our trucks and all the crowds," he said.

"It's also a special track. It's really tough, with very few straightaways, so you have to 'connect the dots' and do some hard braking. If you want to do a good lap time, it's important to be fast in those last two right-handers. I'm looking forward to it.

"We tested there last month, but since then we have a race under our belt and a bit more data to consider. We know the general set-up of the bike now. Last year the weather definitely mixed things up a bit, so we'll see what it does this time."

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