Nicky Hayden rode his first MotoGP laps since July during Friday practice at Aragon.

The Drive M7 Aspar rider has been absent following a second round of wrist surgery and wasn't sure exactly what to expect on his return.

The former world champion was ranked 19th and 18th in the two Friday sessions, but more importantly gave his right wrist a thorough workout during 33 laps of the 5.078km Spanish circuit.

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"Today I was happy just to be riding again and especially without pain," said the American. "We don't like to be so far down the time sheet but we know it will take a little time to readapt.

"The important thing is that I didn't have any problem riding the bike and now it's just a question of patience whilst I recover the strength in my arm and fingers to be able to brake properly.

"We improved this afternoon compared to the morning session and we are not too far off where we were before the operation. You have to consider that the rest of the guys have improved their pace since then. So now we have to work to get back to their level again.

"I will continue with the rehab and recovery sessions to get back to 100% as quickly as possible."