Nicky Hayden will start tomorrow's Catalan MotoGP from 16th on the grid as he continues to defy recent wrist surgery.

Saturday began well for the Drive M7 Aspar rider as he improved from 19th to 14th in FP3, to be the top Production Honda rider.

However the uncertainty caused by spots of rain in Qualifying 1 meant Hayden felt he could have got more from the session.

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"I wouldn't say I feel spectacular but this morning we improved the bike and everything went a little better," said Hayden. "The pace didn't feel too bad but in FP4 we had some problems with one bike stopping and I had to switch bikes.

"I had been trying the [larger] 340mm brakes and we thought it might have been those [causing the problem] but it wasn't so we had to change bikes. I didn't get a good FP4 and that was a bummer because that's the real race conditions.

"Qualifying, truthfully, was a little bit strange because we had spots of rain and at this track because it's so big when you see the flags waving, it's hard to trust that it's really raining or just spots of rain.

"There were a few drops but at speed when they're hitting your visor it's a bit more! At a big track like this you have to trust the flags. After I stopped there were no more spots. It's not so much that the rain distracts you but that you don't know what's around the corner, especially here at turns three and four where there's blind corners.

"I probably didn't get the most out of the last qualifying time so I'm 16th."

There is currently a 50/50 chance of rain for the grand prix. Given his starting position and lack of engine performance, Hayden joked that he would welcome a wet race.

"I'm starting 16th so it wouldn't hurt my feelings to do something different! We're prepared for the dry, [racing without wet practice] isn't easy but I'd take my chances!

"When you start in the back a little shake-up isn't so bad and as I said before in the rain our bike, with less power, should be more competitive.

"We know that our chassis handles well and in the rain you normally detune the electronics. It's strange to be at the sixth race of the season and we've not really had any wet running yet."

Turning to his fitness, Hayden rubbished wild rumours that the condition of his right wrist could threaten his career. "There's zero truth to it."