Nicky Hayden set his best time during qualifying for the Austin MotoGP on his final lap after curing a rear vibration issue on his Ducati GP13.
Hayden was troubled by the issue in Qatar and the problem return this weekend, however a change of tyres appeared to make all the difference and the American star produced his quickest time in 2m 05.568s to qualify in tenth.
Nonetheless, Hayden is still experiencing some problems with the front end of his Desmosedici.
“We made some progress this morning, and I thought we could be a little bit more competitive in Q2 than I was,” he said.
“When I first went out, I had a vibration issue with the rear tyre that was similar to what I had in qualifying in Qatar.
“I came in and changed tyres, and it went away immediately. Starting tenth here isn't good.”
Hayden feels a fast start on Sunday will be crucial as the riders jostle for position into the tight first turn.
“We'll see how things go tomorrow, especially at turn one, where it will be interesting to see if everyone can get through cleanly on the start.
“We still have some problems with the front, which hurts your confidence,” he added.
“We also need to improve in the 'esses', so we'll try something in the warm-up.
“Regardless, I'm looking forward to the race.”