Sunday's Malaysian MotoGP will be Nicky Hayden's 197th race in the premier-class.

That is one more than Colin Edwards, who currently holds the record for most 500cc/MotoGP races by an the American rider.

And while Edwards now looks to have ridden his last race, former world champion Hayden has a contract until at least the end of 2015.

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"Sepang is an awesome circuit - long, wide and with some really interesting sections," Hayden said of this weekend's venue, where the underpowered RCV1000R struggled in pre-season testing.

"I like it a lot but the weather always plays a big part and it can vary dramatically from one session to another. That makes it hard to find the limit of the grip, plus Sepang has a lot of different kinds of corners so you need a good set-up to be able to ride fast and safe. But it's a great track and an interesting challenge for us."

Hayden's former Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa is scheduled to become the tenth rider in history to reach 150 starts in the premier-class.