“Room for Improvement” for Hayden Ahead of Debut


Nicky Hayden was left to rue a lack of track time after the final European pre-season test came to a close at Jerez. The 2006 MotoGP world champion was fourth fastest at a test disrupted by fog and only has two more days of running before making his World Superbike bow at Phillip Island next month.

Despite his wishes for more mileage, Hayden remains in high spirits and is excited to kick-start his WSBK career in Australia four weeks from now.

“It hasn’t been the perfect day, because the fog cost us a couple of hours in the morning and we had to squeeze the testing program in a shorter amount of time. It’s a shame because there are still some things left to try and, of course, that time would have been useful for me too, but we did what we could. I was able to do a race simulation and to use the qualifying tyre and in the end, the lap-time was not too bad. There is still room for improvement. The winter season went too quick and the weather did not help, but now it is time for Phillip Island and I look forward to having some fun!”

Honda teammate Michael van der Mark was fifth quickest was satisfied with the work completed at Jerez although he doesn’t feel his outright fastest time was representative.

“Today we started quite late because of the fog, but once we got on track we began trying many things, working mainly on the bike geometries. We had some difficulties in choosing the right tyre for these temperatures, but eventually we found the good one. From then we tried a couple of things on another swingarm plus some more adjustments, and every change resulted in more little steps forward. At the end, the bike was feeling very good at the rear, and we found some more grip, which is what we were looking for. I was able to drop half a second with race tyres but I feel we could have done a little better with the qualifier, as I made some small mistakes. Overall I am very happy with how things went today.”