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Hayden to test new spec Ducati after Misano
3 September 2013
Nicky Hayden could switch to the new spec Desmosedici for the final five races of his factory Ducati MotoGP career.
The 2006 world champion will “definitely” be testing the bike during the official post-race outing at Misano, which hosts the San Marino Grand Prix on September 15.
However Hayden is not expecting a transformation in form.
Team-mate Andrea Dovizioso has used the new bike for several events, yet Hayden has been a match for the Italian on the older version - graphically illustrated by their last turn clash over eighth place at Indianapolis.
“You could see the last two races, Dovi on the new bike with the latest spec and me on the old one. Very similar,” said Hayden during the British MotoGP weekend. “So I think there's definitely a problem why there's been no progress and they [Ducati] need to understand that.
“They know that. They don't need me to tell them. If you spend that much time and money and don't really do a step [with the new bike], then you are probably working in the wrong area or not in a real good, clear way. But there's a lot of smart engineers at Ducati and the test team has really improved a lot this year, which we wanted to see, and that's very important for the future.”
Hayden confirmed: “The big thing is to improve the turning, the front of the bike. We know that's the biggest problem but it's nothing new.”
The San Marino Grand Prix will mark Hayden's final home appearance for the Italian team, which he joined from Honda in 2009. Ducati has held private tests at Misano, which should give the Desmosedici riders a slight head start in Friday practice.
“We tested there this year, a while ago and it's not going to be some amazing advantage - as we saw with Yamaha at Brno - but for sure it's nice to have some laps there, hopefully we can start a little bit closer,” said Hayden.
“Misano is not the race I look forward to most because I've never had a lot of success there. But it's a cool event, the whole crowd coming from the beach and a different atmosphere. My mom always goes because she can watch the race then go to the beach. It's good for that!
“The track is okay, it's kinda bumpy and some of the corners are tight on the exit because they switched it around. It's not Phillip Island or something.”
Hayden, yet to announce his 2014 plans, is ninth in the world championship but now just eight points from Dovizioso, who fell in the closing stages of the British GP after a race long battle with Hayden and Bradley Smith.
Hayden - who will test a Ducati Superbike this week - has been linked with various privateer MotoGP seats for next year, as well as a switch to WSBK, with the latest Silverstone rumours suggesting interest in the Aspar Aprilia project. Hayden, like existing Aspar rider Aleix Espargaro, has also been linked with Forward Racing Yamaha.