Crash.Net MOTOGP News
'Useful' last test for Hayden 'despite everything'
30 November 2012
Nicky Hayden did his best to provide Ducati with as much track data as possible for the 2013 Desmosedici, during the factory's final test of the year at Jerez.
With new team-mate Andrea Dovizioso unable to ride due to a neck strain
, Hayden's input was of even greater importance.
Riding in sunny-but-cold conditions on the first two days, the American - preparing for his fifth season at Ducati - began with a full testing program on Wednesday.
He then posted his best times on Thursday, despite a small fall robbing him of optimal track time.
Friday's final day was spoilt by wind and rain, though Hayden still went out to complete a brief comparison between the hard and soft rain tyres.
Overall, Hayden set a best lap time of 1m 40.090s - the official (2010) race record is 1m 39.731s - putting him just under the best WSBK lap of the week and almost one-second quicker than the next fastest MotoGP lap by Pramac Ducati rookie Andrea Iannone.
“Things didn't go as smoothly as we had hoped, but the test has been useful despite everything,” said Hayden. “On the first day, we struggled a little bit getting up to speed, but we improved somewhat yesterday. We were able to evaluate the new frame and swingarm, as well as a few new settings.
“[Friday], though, the weather hasn't been kind to us. I did three exits in the wet, but it hasn't been dry enough for slicks. It would have been nice to ride in the dry today, as we wanted to confirm a few things and improve our pace, but nonetheless, we got through some things and have a lot of information to work with.
“Thanks to the guys for all the hard work this year. Now we'll look forward to February at Sepang.”
Team manager Vittoriano Guareschi confirmed that the main purpose of the test had been to decide on chassis and swingarm direction for the GP13.
“We continued the testing program that we started at Valencia, looking for confirmation on the frame and swingarm that we tried in the latter part of the season,” he said.
“Now we need to work at the factory over the winter in order to give our riders a competitive package at the first Sepang test in February.”
The Avintia CRT squad joined Ducati and the leading WSBK teams at Jerez.
The MotoGP winter test ban starts on December 1.