Hayden enters second half of debut season with best result so far

Tuesday, 29 July 2003

Hayden enters second half of debut season with best result so far

AMA Superbike Champ and MotoGP rookie Nicky Hayden scored his highest race result of his maiden campaign in motorcycle racing's premier series last weekend with a hard earned fifth position that was so nearly a fourth until being pipped by multi World Champion Lori Capirossi on the last lap.

The youngster, thrown very much in the deep end this year as Valentino Rossi' team-mate in the double Championship winning Repsol Honda squad, had previously taken a best finish of 7th at both Suzuka and Welkom. After those two opening races he has then notched a DNF, 12th, 12th, 9th, 11th and 8th.

As part of a relatively new wave of American talent including Colin Edwards and John Hopkins, Hayden is currently the highest ranked in the standings, lying in 10th position.

The former AMA Supersport title winner, who is 22 years old tomorrow, had this to say after his first ever German GP:

´I really needed that race and I'll take fifth. It was fourth at one point but on the last lap and through the last couple of corners I rode a little too conservative and Capirossi just snuck by, but it was still a really fun race. Definitely the best I've had all year and really something to build on.
Warm up was good in the morning. I felt pretty comfortable running with Valentino and Max. Anytime I get behind these guys at these new circuits I pick up so much; it's a big help.
Hats off to my team. They've worked real hard for me all year and I'm happy to give them a good result. I've had a few races that weren't so much fun this year and it's nice to get out there and just charge the whole way!´

Learning the circuits has been one tricky obstacle for Hayden but he faces a slightly easier task at the next round in Brno having recently completed testing at the venue of the Czech GP. The rider from Kentucky will not be enjoying the longest of holidays as he jets out shortly to contest the Suzuka 8 hour.
TAGS 2003 Nicky Hayden

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