Nicky Hayden says he's already curious to see how his performance with the Honda CBR 1000RR Fireblade SP translates at the 2016 World Superbike season opener at Phillip Island after completing European pre-season testing at Jerez.
The former MotoGP world champion concluded his winter testing preparations at a collective World Superbike test at Jerez alongside the Kawasaki, Ducati, Yamaha and BMW entries, finishing the second day fourth quickest and sixth-tenths off pace-setter Tom Sykes on the new Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Despite his strong showing Hayden has left the test slightly frustrated due to the amount of time lost due to foggy and wet conditions on each morning, while the American also lost a big chunk of track time after a low-side crash early on day two.
“We had hoped to get more done in these two days,” Hayden said. “It was a shame losing so much time in the two mornings. There was some stuff that we didn't get to try so it leaves some question marks.
“I ran out of gas on my race simulation and today I was able to do a little bit, 16 straight laps I think, I would have liked to have got more done with more stuff. We are not going to Aragon so this is what we've got. There is not a lot of time and it is expensive to go testing. We didn't secure the sponsorship liked we hoped so we have to spend the money a little bit more gentle.”
While continuing to get familiar with the Honda superbike, Hayden tested out a new swingarm before concentrating on outright hot lap pace at the end of each day at the Spanish circuit.
The American says he's relishing the fresh challenge after leaving MotoGP and despite ending the test fourth fastest he is wary it might not be a fair reflection on his place in the WSBK pack.
“I like the bike, I enjoy riding it. I haven't really ridden with a lot of guys to know where I stack up,” he said. “I feel good but I'm sure I can improve in some areas. I'm really curious to go to Phillip Island, a completely different track.
“At Jerez the bike doesn't work badly. Michael [van der Mark] showed that by getting on the podium so we'll see in the different conditions and a hotter track. I'm curious to try the Pirelli in hotter conditions because here with the flat corners the Pirellis work really good so it will be interesting to try them there.”
Hayden's curiosity will be answered when the entire WSBK grid converges in Australia for a final pre-season test at Phillip Island ahead of the opening round on the 26-28 February.