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Hayden takes in Manhattan before heading home

Hayden takes in Manhattan before heading home

Hayden takes in Manhattan before heading home

Repsol Honda's Nicky Hayden got a quick taste of the big city on a whirlwind visit to New York City to promote the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix.

"It's actually pretty interesting," Hayden, who'd been to New York before, but had never seen much of the city, said. "I can see what people like about it."

After five days of riding his Honda RC211V-the three-day French GP weekend followed by two days of testing at Le Mans-Hayden touched down in New York and hit the ground running, literally. Despite a packed schedule, Hayden was able to keep up his fitness with a run along the Hudson River on the west side of Manhattan.

"I was on my way home from France, so I didn't really mind," Hayden said. "A lot of people have worked hard to make this thing happen, from Dorna to the track, and all the work they've done on track safety, to Red Bull stepping up. So I didn't mind taking a day out if it was going to promote it a bit."

Dorna, Red Bull, and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca all had representatives in New York to help with the race's promotion. Though ticket sales have been strong, the race is not sold out.

"They've got a lot of seats available," Hayden said. "They don't want people to think that it is sold out. They did this to get that last little bit of people that they want to get to."

The centerpiece of the visit was the Wednesday evening screening of "Faster" the Movie" for New York media, followed by 45 minutes of new footage on the 2003-2004 season. During an intermission, Hayden and director Mark Neale took part in a Q&A session.

The other work of promoting the Red Bull USGP was done on both Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday Hayden was interviewed by several media.

During his brief visit Hayden saw the Statue of Liberty and Ground Zero; both in lower Manhattan, the trendy Tribeca neighborhood; where he stayed, and Times Square, home of MTV's Total Request Live (TRL), before heading home for a rare week off. He leaves for the June 4-5 Italian GP at Mugello on Memorial Day, May 30.

"The next two or three or months is pretty busy," Hayden said by cell phone on his way to the airport. "We'll go home and regroup and go to Mugello stronger." The Catalunya GP, north of Barcelona, is a week after Mugello, followed by two days of testing.

MotoGP, 2005, Nicky Hayden

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