Nicky Hayden says he 'trusts' HRC will do what it can to ensure he has a competitive package for the 2014 MotoGP World Championship season following a lukewarm response to the firm's new RCV1000R machine during testing.
Former MotoGP champion Hayden makes a high-profile switch from Ducati to Drive M7 Aspar team in 2014 as part of an assault on the rebranded 'Open' class with Honda's much anticipated production racer
However, while the American was the quickest of the firm's three representatives during the first pre-season test at Sepang, he was comprehensively out-paced by Forward Racing's Aleix Espargaro on the Yamaha-engined FTR racer.
Prompting criticism from Hayden post-test
regarding the bike's lack of speed, he cut a more optimistic figure on the eve of the second test in Malaysia, saying he is confident HRC will commit to ensuring it is more competitive.
“The challenge of competing as an open bike and the new rules will be interesting to see how it all plays out and if it really will become the future of MotoGP,” he said, speaking at the official launch for Aspar and new title sponsors Drive M7.
““The first test we were not as competitive as we need to be but I trust HRC will help us very soon and find us more power. I must get everything out of this new test to learn the bike and the new team and be ready to for the opener in Qatar.”
Reflecting on his move to the Aspar team, which has been the dominant outfit since the production-inspired CRT class was introduced for 2012, Hayden is looking forward to spearheading its latest campaign.
“It is a new season and a new challenge for me but I am healthy and very excited. I have been very impressed with Mr Aspar and his professionalism - it's clear he really wants results and is behind all his guys.
“I think it's great we have a new sponsor and one of such a high level as Drive M7. Not only is it good for us, I think it's good for all of MotoGP to see new sponsors coming from different parts of the world and this can be great for the future.”
Honda will be represented in an 'Open' capacity by Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama at Drive M7 Aspar, Scott Redding at Go&Fun Gresini and Karel Abraham at Cardion AB Motoracing.