After struggling with a serious lack of top-end speed with his Open class Honda in 2014, Aspar's Nicky Hayden has spoken positively about the performance of the 2015 version at Sepang in Malaysia.

The 2006 premier class champion admits that he has yet to go head-to-head on track with another rider to make a visual comparison, but Hayden is confident the RC213V-RS is a 'step forward'.

"The engine of this bike is definitely a step forward from last year. I haven't ridden alongside another rider to compare, but the performance of this engine is very positive," he said.

Related Articles

"I still haven't been able to ride as fast as I want with it. I am having trouble getting comfortable with the chassis when pushing hard. Today we have taken a big step forward from the first day, but it is still not enough; we must continue working.

"We are looking at the reasons but it's quite hard to turn the bike, and there has been some front end chatter," said Hayden, who was 19th quickest on Thursday, lapping in 2m 02.228s.

Hayden is optimistic over the potential of the machine, yet he still sounded a note of caution, admitting that plenty of work still lies ahead.

"Today we improved the response of the electronics, but it's all so new that we still have a lot of work ahead," he said.

"We want to be cautious for now, but we hope that this bike has great potential."