6 May 2014
Hayden sits out test, 'race pace similar to Dovizioso'
"I think [this] weekend we took a step forward, and our race pace after the first lap was similar to Dovizioso's" - Nicky Hayden.
Nicky Hayden did not take part in Monday's post-race Jerez MotoGP test due to a swollen right wrist that has plagued the Drive M7 Aspar rider since Saturday night.
The American underwent surgery during the winter but had not experienced any wrist issues at the previous events.
The 2006 world champion, who rode to eleventh and top Open Honda in Sunday's race, explained:
"I went to the Clinica Mobile this morning and the doctors advised me not to ride the bike today. I don't know why, but since Saturday night I have had swelling and discomfort with my wrist. This winter I had my wrist operated and I recovered well, had strength in my hand and everything seemed normal.
“It seems that it is nothing serious, and although yesterday I suffered a lot during the race, at least I could finish. When I return home I will head to the hospital for further tests to find out why I have a swollen wrist. With the French GP coming up in ten days I think it was the right thing to do to rest today, so that the situation does not worsen.”
Hayden confirmed that there were no new parts for him to test, ending speculation that the first of much needed engine upgrades for the RCV1000R may have been available.
“We had no specific material to test, just some set-ups,” said Hayden. “We wanted to take the opportunity to try things that we don't have time to look at during a grand prix. It would have been nice to ride a little and gather data, but we took the wisest decision. We'll wait until Le Mans, where I hope to continue improving.”
Hayden added that he had been encouraged by his pace relative to former Factory Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, who finished fifth, during the grand prix.
“I think [this] weekend we took a step forward, and our race pace after the first lap was similar to Dovizioso's. The objective is to continue growing and get even closer to the riders ahead of us."
Team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama did test on Monday, using the time available to work on set-up and recording a best lap of 1m 39.881s - the second best Open lap after Aleix Espargaro - before concluding testing at 3pm.
Aoyama's fastest lap in the race was a 1m 41.488s, on his way to twelfth.
"Today we used our time to try to improve things we cannot experiment with during race weekends," said the Japanese. "We also continued to test things we discovered during the past weekend and liked. Basically, we tried to improve our cornering speed, played around with various geometry and suspension options.
"This afternoon we saw several improvements thanks to our work, so we're happy with that. Also, considering the heat on track, our lap times were very positive. This test has been very productive for us, we found improvements that will help us at the next few races."
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