Nicky Hayden says the challenge of learning a new circuit and reacquainting himself with his World Superbike-spec Honda Fireblade leaves him unsure of where his pace will slot him in the pecking order at Lausitzring next month.
The former MotoGP world champion took part in a two-day private test at the German circuit alongside outgoing team-mate Michael van der Mark as well as the factory Kawasaki and Yamaha squads. Notching up over 190 laps around the 4.255km circuit the experienced American rider was making his debut at the German track.
Getting to grips with the bumpy nature of the Lausitzring, as well as testing new brake calipers and chassis settings, Hayden is unsure where his lap times would place him representative to his rivals until World Superbikes returns for round 10 on the 16-18 September.
“It has been a good couple of days here at Lausitzring,” Hayden said. “We kept making some good progress, although on the second day it's always a bit more difficult to keep improving. We hit a few walls but overall I was able to make some steps forward. The team worked really hard and I'm thankful that they came here for this test during the summer break.”
READ: Hayden talks first World Superbike win at Sepang
Hayden relished the opportunity to turn some laps back on his Ten Kate-prepared Honda CBR1000RR after the summer break with his last competitive outing coming at the Suzuka 8 Hours in which his factory-backed Honda squad failed to finish due to a technical issue.
“We needed these two days, especially on a track where we still have to race. It took me some laps to readjust to this version of the Fireblade after riding the endurance one but now we're ready,” he said. “Obviously we don't know where we'll stack up until we come back here for the race, but I'm sure we'll find out really quick where we fall in line.”