NICKY HAYDEN SHOWS BEST FORM TO DATE
DRIVE M7 Aspar rider completes solitary race with third consecutive eleventh place. Hiroshi Aoyama takes twelfth, five seconds back
After only a couple of laps. Marc Márquez started from pole, but was overtaken by Valentino Rossi off the line. When Márquez got back in front, Rossi responded with another pass attempt on the inside. The strategy of slowing down the Spaniard was clear, but from the third lap a run of four consecutive race fastest laps took Márquez away –the only rider to go round in under 1’39. He claimed a fourth consecutive victory this season, Rossi took second place by a matter of metres, and Dani Pedrosa clinched third after cutting the gap to the Italian.
Now that the championship has stabilised slightly, and not counting the anomalous Qatar race, it is apparent that DRIVE M7 Aspar rider Nicky Hayden is finding his way with the new RCV1000R. As a winning rider he was obviously dissatisfied with eleventh, but the American continues with his intention of improvement. Riding steadily this weekend, beating his lap times in every session and finishing only just outside the Top 10 in the race, Hayden took eleventh place for the third consecutive round. Today he was only 35 seconds behind the winner, and 8 seconds off the second group.
Teammate Hiroshi Aoyama had a brilliant race from the back. The start of the race was hard for him, due to a lack of feeling with the cold front tyre. Aoyama’s caution caused him to drop down several places. Later on, the DRIVE M7 Aspar rider increased the pace to regain lost ground and achieve twelfth position, almost 5 seconds behind his teammate.
11th Nicky Hayden: "On paper this circuit should be more favourable than others for our bike, considering that here the difference in top speed would not be so big. On the first two laps the second group tried to escape, but I fought to catch them up and I have ended up close to Bradl. However, as the laps went by I made a mistake at Turn 4 and he broke away. It was a shame, as it would have been nice to beat a factory rider. In any case, looking at our pace and performance today, we have had our best race so far. Today we used the super soft tyres and they worked really well; we knew it was bit risky to complete the full race distance with them, because they may not have reached the end intact. I want to thank Bridgestone for letting us use them. The most convenient and safe thing for them would have been to not allow us to use such a soft compound, but they left it up to us. This was important to us, aswe always have to find the limit of tyre grip to maintain speed when cornering. In the end the tyres were very consistent and I had fun riding. I'm pretty satisfied. I want to thank the Clinica Mobile at the circuit for their work with me this weekend, because they managed to reduce the discomfort in my hand."
12th Hiroshi Aoyama: "Today we had a very hot and hard race. I tried to fight from the beginning to keep my position but it was difficult for me to find a feeling with the front tyre. That meant I could not push hard at the start of the race and needed to be more prudent. Fortunately, after seven laps I started to feel more comfortable on the bike and gained confidence with the tyres. Gradually I found my place and I was able to pick up the pace to try to gain positions. I managed to reach the group riding in front of me and tried to overtake them, but when I felt most comfortable I was blocked by other riders. It was a shame, because I could not make the most of the tyres when they were performing at their best. In any case, I am satisfied that we had quite a positive pace, both in practice and in the race. This gives us more confidence for the next races."