Phillip Island lap record holder Nicky Hayden is hoping to successfully manage his Ducati Desmosedici engine situation at the Australian MotoGP this weekend.
Hayden and his team face a challenging situation due to the five-engine limit following his mechanical problem in Malaysia and will have to carefully monitor the situation accordingly.
The American star, who set the outright lap record at the picturesque circuit in 2008 during his time as a factory Honda rider, used his freshest engine at Sepang but was forced out of the race on lap eight with a smoking machine.
Hayden has even suggested he may be forced to start one of the remaining three races of the season from pit lane as a penalty for using a sixth engine.
The track was newly resurfaced in December last year, raising expectations that a new record will be set at the iconic course this weekend.
“Phillip Island is one of the best tracks in the championship. It's been repaved for this year, so we'll see how much smoother and faster it is now,” said the 2006 champion.
“In the past, I've gone really well there, but we're not on our best form or catching many breaks at the moment.
“We'll see what the weather's going to be like. The mornings can be quite cool and a lot different than the race, which makes it challenging for bike set-up,” Hayden added.
“There are a lot more left-handers than right, so tyre wear on the left is very important, but at the same time, getting heat in the tyres in the mornings is a problem. I love Australia and look forward to it.”
Vittoriano Guareschi, team manager, admitted Hayden was facing an additional challenge in Australia .
“We face an additional challenge in that we have to manage Nicky's engine situation after the problem at Sepang,” he said.
“Still, both riders [Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso] like the track, so we hope to have a decent race.”