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Hayden heads to Japan in optimistic mood

Hayden heads to Japan in optimistic mood

Hayden heads to Japan in optimistic mood

Nicky Hayden has flown out to Japan to meet several sponsorship commitments before he can finally begin to enjoy a period of relaxation at home in Kentucky. The Repsol Honda rider was in Jerez last week for a three-day test with HRC and moved up to Valencia for a further two days earlier this week.

Hayden put in just 26 laps in the wet on Monday, trying various engine settings in search of a smoother power delivery from his RC211V 990cc Honda around the twisty circuit.

"Monday wasn't much of a day really," he reflected. "One of those days when it's not wet enough to do a proper wet test and not dry enough to learn anything.

"We did try playing around with the mapping of the engine to help with the power delivery in these sort of conditions which could turn out to be useful, but overall it was a pretty boring day – I even had time for a Spanish style siesta!"

Bright warm sunshine on Tuesday allowed Hayden to put in a solid 70 laps, with a best time of 1'33.7 leaving him with a positive overall view on the Spanish sessions.

"Generally it was a good few days of testing we had in Jerez and Valencia," said Hayden, who was working with a new technical crew headed by chief mechanic Pete Benson. "It was really good to be working with the new team and everyone seems to be gelling real well.

"We got a pretty good base setting and I'm pleased to go into the winter break with a positive feeling. It took a while on Tuesday for the track to dry out and there were a lot of guys jumping off everywhere, so we just took our time and had a solid day.

"I'm off to Japan for some PR work than back home next week for a little rest but I know it won't be long until I'm really wanting next year to come and to get back on the bike."

MotoGP, 2004, Nicky Hayden

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