Hayden discovers clutch problem in test

Tuesday, 15 June 2004

Hayden discovers clutch problem in test

Nicky Hayden discovered the reason for his disastrous start to Sunday's MotoGP race and subsequent retirement during a day of tests at the Catalunya circuit on Monday. Hayden's Repsol Honda mechanics discovered damage to the clutch, sustained in his crash at Mugello seven days previously, which caused the American to get caught up in the pack despite starting on the front row before pulling out nine laps from the end .

"It was terrible really, pretty disappointing but that's how racing is – just got to take it," commented Hayden during a break from testing at the Spanish circuit on Monday. "Today we're testing and it's going a lot better. We figured out that I guess I damaged some stuff in my clutch when I crashed at Mugello and I had a problem all week.

"I could not get it off the line and we changed some stuff for the race, thought we had it fixed, but it was the part that we weren't changing that was actually just bent a little bit. I couldn't get it off the line and came around sixteenth.

"In the big pack I picked up a big rock in the radiator and the thing was just getting a little bit of mist on my visor. Then it just started running a bit hot and eventually quit – lost all the water. But that's the way it goes – we ain't lying down and we'll be back in Assen trying to get things turned around."

To hear the rest of this exclusive interview, with more thoughts from Nicky on the next race at Assen, click on the link at the top of the page.

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