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Austin MotoGP: Hayden: It's tough to be so slow

Nicky Hayden's top-end speed struggles continue as American star languishes outside top ten following free practice in Austin
Drive M7 Aspar's Nicky Hayden was downcast after struggling to break into the top ten during the first free practice sessions in Austin.

Hayden is losing out by up to 25kph on top-end speed and the 2006 MotoGP world champion is finding his predicament tough to stomach at his home race.

His fastest lap of 2m 06.188s left him in 14th position, 2.698s behind Marc Marquez's best lap and 0.251s behind fellow RCV1000R rider and series rookie Scott Redding in 13th position.

“It's really tough to be at your home race and be so slow – I've never been in this position at a home GP,” said Hayden.

“We're 25kph down or something so it's really tough. It's not been a great start so we have to try to do what we can.

“I haven't even looked at the times from the afternoon and of course it'd be great to be in the top ten but there's a lot of guys in there and it's going to be tough.”

Hayden, who was hit by electrical issues that slowed his progress on Friday, was fulsome in his praise of riding conditions at The Circuit of The Americas, even if he feels the track is a little 'odd' for MotoGP machines.

“We've had some electrical issues and we're trying to sort those out. The track's in great shape – there's no bumps that I found, it's actually cleaner than last year and seems to be wearing tyres less,” he said.

“It's stayed in great shape: it's an amazing facility but the layout for bikes is a little bit odd with all the stop and go corners and you probably spend more time in first gear than at any other track.

“The track is in better condition that I expected, especially for grip, so thanks to CoTA for getting it ready,” Hayden added.

“I'm not great in the esses and I wasn't great last year; I hoped this bike would help me but it's not only the bike, it's something I need to get better at.”

Hayden isn't giving up hope yet of breaking into the top ten and will attempt to bridge the gap on Saturday.

“We had hoped to come here and not be so far off the pace but it is what it is. We've got a few ideas to improve and this morning we had an electrical issue which didn't help us, especially going into the afternoon,” he said.

“We didn't get to try what we wanted to try and we need to sort out those electrical issues.”

Tagged as: hayden , redding , Marquez

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April 12, 2014 1:25 AM
Last Edited 923 days ago

Espagaro's top speed is slightly better than Hayden's yet Hayden is 2 seconds slower than than Espargaro. In fact the practice 2, Bradl is 1.3 seconds slower than Marquez despite having the same top speed.


April 12, 2014 11:33 AM

Honda USA must have been thrilled to get Nicky back on a Honda, & must have had huge plans to cash in ... Unfortunately for them, HRC have delivered Nicky with such a dud, that the Honda USA marketing team is probably having to do more damage control instead. There is a definite feeling that Honda have screwed Nicky with a rubbish bike ... & that's not going to sell any bikes!

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