Nicky Hayden was left to rue a slight error at Phillip Island as he battled his Ducati team-mate Valentino Rossi for seventh place.

Hayden was attempting to close the gap to Rossi when he ran wide at Turn 11, allowing the Italian to gain a slight advantage.

The American was forced to settle for eighth in the penultimate round of the MotoGP World Championship in Australia, although he conceded it would have been difficult to find a way past Rossi despite his error.

"I felt a little better in the race and was able to fight with Valentino a little bit," he said.

"He was faster in the beginning, but once the tyres went away, I could manage, although front-tyre wear hurt me toward the end.

"I thought I might be able to have a go at him in the last couple of laps, but then I ran wide in turn 11 and he got a break on me.

"He was going to be tough to beat anyway," added Hayden.

"It's frustrating, because I remember battling with Valentino for the win here, and we've been on the podium together a few times at this track."

Hayden made little progress with his Desmosedici throughout practice and qualifying, when grip and turning issues posed the biggest problems.

"It was a really hard weekend. Normally I love Phillip Island, but we did 32.3s in FP1 and haven't been able to improve grip and turning much since, despite making a lot of changes," said Hayden, who set a best of 1m 31.7s in the race.

"Thanks to the team because we really tried everything this weekend."



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