Nicky Hayden said he 'didn't have any excuses' after finishing ninth at the Austin MotoGP.

Factory Ducati ace Hayden made an early pass on Andrea Iannone (Energy T.I. Pramac Ducati) but was unable to make further progress, finishing almost 11 seconds down on Alvaro Bautista on the Gresini Honda in eighth.

The popular American found it difficult to gain confidence with the front end of his Desmosedici GP13, but said his team had worked hard to deliver an improved package for the race.

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"It was a tough weekend. The track was great, but I lost some time in the beginning and was struggling with change of direction.

"I was okay on much of the track, but I never found the confidence in the front end to flick the bike into the corners, which hurt me in the esses," said Hayden.

"The guys did a good job getting me a better bike for the race, and I don't really have any excuses.

"Ninth place isn't what we wanted here today, so I certainly hope we can sort a few things out and start putting up a better fight than we have in these first two races."