Nicky Hayden gets back to top form
After missing two races due to external circumstances, DRIVE M7 Aspar rider has great race to finish twelfth. Hiroshi Aoyama places fifteenth
There was another spectacular MotoGP race today at the Catalan Grand Prix, picking up from where the riders left off at Mugello two weeks ago. The final laps of the Italian round had been thrilling, but the entirety of the visit to Barcelona was a treat for race fans. Despite not running away with the victory, Marc Márquez was able to best his rivals for the seventh time in as many races in 2014, claiming the win by a slim margin ahead of Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa. Jorge Lorenzo had started well and ridden perfectly in the early going, but lost ground late on as Rossi led the way. Then the two Repsol Honda riders battled for the win, before Pedrosa ran wide with three corners to go –allowing Rossi to go through and Márquez to take the chequered flag first.
After two consecutive races without taking points, due to circumstances beyond his control, DRIVE M7 Aspar rider Nicky Hayden added to his tally again today in Catalonia. The American, who arrived at this round with much hesitation after a recent operation, improved throughout the weekend and overcame adversity. He started sixteenth and was able to gain positions early on. He felt comfortable riding, and that helped him to claim a praiseworthy twelfth place at the Catalan GP.
Teammate Hiroshi Aoyama, also started far back down the grid (20th) but was not intimidated by the amount of riders ahead of him and set a steady pace to climb up to fifteenth position. The Japanese DRIVE M7 Aspar rider is determined this season, and has now scored points at every race to date.
The next round of the World Championship takes place at Assen, in the Netherlands, in two weeks’ time.
12th Nicky Hayden: "I didn’t start too well today and it took me a few laps to get on the pace. It is not easy to start from sixteenth position. However, as the laps went by I saw that the bike was working very well, so I pushed ahead. I had a lot of confidence in the front end, and that allowed me to push hard. On the other hand, I knew that with the heat, the rear performance would decrease at the end. Fortunately I managed to keep my pace up and gain some places. After how the weekend went, it isn’t a spectacular result but gives us points after two unlucky races. At Assen we hope to continue the positive work we did today and get plenty more points."
15th Hiroshi Aoyama: "Yesterday we did not qualify well and today we had to start from twentieth position. I made a very positive start has allowed me to gain places. On the opening lap I passed two riders, and that motivated me to keep pushing. Also today I managed to maintain a fairly high pace throughout the entire race. The reason for the improvement with our feeling is a change made this morning that gave us confidence. In the second half of the race we had some problems that made us lose speed and power, and towards the end this worsened and we lost some positions. Fortunately I was able to finish the race and keep adding points to my tally. We will investigate what might have been the cause of the issue, so that it does not happen again at Assen."