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MotoGP Australia: Hayden upbeat after Repsol Honda return

'I felt good in the rain and in the second exit I was able to improve also the lap time, so for the first day it was not a bad session' - Nicky Hayden.
Nicky Hayden was upbeat after day one at Phillip Island as the American rider rode the Repsol Honda for the first time in place of the injured Dani Pedrosa.

Hayden, who won the 2006 MotoGP World Championship for the Repsol Honda team, was ninth fastest overall on his return and felt confident in the wet conditions.

The World Superbike rider agreed that the right call was made to cancel FP2 in the afternoon as conditions worsened, but Hayden was frustrated to miss out on some more track time.

“The grip was quite good on the rear and the bike felt good. Sometimes when the bike feels good it's easy to make a mistake. I felt it was better to build up and chip away at the lap time and not try to make too big a step,” he said.

“I felt good in the rain and in the second exit I was able to improve also the lap time, so for the first day it was not a bad session. It's just a shame I couldn't get more laps because I need to learn the bike and the team and they need to learn what I like and don't like.

“I think they made the right decision this afternoon with that amount of water on the track, the cold temperature and the speeds here. It was best to call it a day.”

Hayden said that while visibility was an issue, the amount of standing water on the circuit was a bigger concern.

“It was not easy to see, only on the front straightaway. With the lights it is much better and they did a good step with safety when they added the lights to the bikes. It's true it would be a concern because you can imagine driving in your car at even 50mph with visibility so you can imagine at 200mph,” Hayden said.

“More of a concern was the amount of water and the tyres worked well in the wet, but we're not on a boat and they don't work in standing water.

“Anybody would worry about no dry time and for me it's something I definitely don't like the thought of, but there's nothing I can do about it. We'll see what happens.”

If the rain continues on Saturday, Hayden says he would like to see riders given the chance for a longer warm-up on Sunday morning if conditions are dry, rather than going into the race 'blind'.

“Maybe we can do something with a longer warm-up because I don't think we can just go into this track blind with the tyres. I think they need to find a way to let riders get close to race distance on a set of dry tyres. I have a lot of trust in the Safety Commission and they normally do the right thing,” he said.

“The race is so late that I don't see why they couldn't do something on Sunday morning. If it's wet all day tomorrow then obviously a wet race would be much better for me if I only get track time in the wet. The weather will be what it is but the bike felt really good in the wet so we'll see, maybe I'll hope for a wet race anyway,” added Hayden.

Asked for his views on the extra-soft Michelin front, which is limited to eight laps, Hayden said he thought the compound did have some benefits.

“I think it's not a bad idea to have a tyre in those conditions to get up to speed on a really cold track to check the bike. I think it's a good idea to have a safety tyre you can use for a short amount of time and I'd rather use that as go out with something that is too hard with no temperature.”




Tagged as: Dani Pedrosa , hayden

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RealDrWho

October 21, 2016 8:19 PM

ElbowDown93: After sundays race HRC will be thinking they should have gone with Aoyoma.
I think you made a small mistake with your name or to be precise the number in the end. If that number stands for your IQ you should have turned it around 39 comes a bit closer than 93.



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