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MotoGP Australia: Hayden hunts final MotoGP memory at Phillip Island

Nicky Hayden is aiming for a grand finale over his last few races in MotoGP starting at Phillip Island before his switch to World Superbikes.
Nicky Hayden is aiming for a grand finale over his last few races in MotoGP, starting at Phillip Island where he claimed a rostrum finish in his maiden year in the premier class.

In the build up to the Japanese MotoGP the Aspar Honda rider announced he is to switch to the World Superbike championship with Honda in 2016, bringing an end to his 13-year stint in the championship with a crowning glory of a world title in 2006.

Hayden says the Australian circuit has always been a firm favourite of his on the MotoGP calendar and has a particularly fond memory of claiming his second career rostrum in 2003. Despite a podium challenge looking highly unlikely on Open class machinery another positive result would ensure he'd leave Phillip Island happy.

“I had my second proper podium there, I remember I passed Sete Gibernau halfway around the last lap, and it was obviously a big moment for me because it was my rookie season,” Hayden said. “A lot of people were questioning me then. I've had some good races there in the past and it would be nice to have one more this weekend.”

The American has claimed three podium finishes and two pole positions in total at Phillip Island and fully expects the event to throw up its usual challenges in bike set-up, conditions and tyre management.

“The atmosphere at Phillip Island is special and I love fast left-hand corners so I always look forward to this one,” he said. “It's a track where you need to be committed and you need a bike that you are comfortable on and allows you to attack the corners.

"You never know what is going to happen with the weather there. It's definitely nicer when it's sunny and nice out but it can be very windy and very cold, which is never easy, and you also have to make sure you keep the heat in the right side of the tyre.”

Tagged as: Honda , Phillip Island , hayden

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