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Hayden: Door not closed on Ducati Austin test
8 February 2013
Nicky Hayden hopes that Ducati will be able to join Yamaha and Honda at next month's private Austin MotoGP test - but the answer is currently 'no'.
On the last day of the Sepang test, Yamaha confirmed that they would join Honda at the new American circuit from March 12-14, but Ducati is less enthusiastic at making what would be an expensive extra journey.
“At the moment it's 'no' but the door is not completely closed,” explained Hayden. “So they are going to go back this week and try and make it happen. There's a chance and I'm optimistic for that.”
The Texan circuit will host its inaugural MotoGP event from April 19-21, as round two of the 2013 series. Hayden fears that if Ducati miss the test, they will have no chance of competing with Honda and Yamaha during the race weekend.
“If we don't test there and we start Friday morning [of the grand prix] with no idea about bike set-up, gear ratios or knowing the track then we'll have no chance against Honda and Yamaha,” said the 2006 world champion.
Even if Ducati attends the test, the disadvantages Hayden mentions will still be felt by the majority of the MotoGP field.
HRC vice president Shuhei Nakamoto said that the Honda satellite teams are welcome to attend "if they have the budget... Maybe Cecchinello [LCR] will come and not Gresini, but they still have time to decide.
"If Ducati also join us we are happy!" he added.
Ducati finished the Sepang test - the first of three official pre-season tests - with a two-second gap to the leading Honda and Yamaha riders.
The second Sepang test will be held from February 26-28, with Jerez from March 23-25.