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Hayden pleased with podium finish

Hayden pleased with podium finish

Hayden pleased with podium finish

Repsol Honda's Nicky Hayden claimed his third podium in seven races aboard his RC211V in the searing heat at the Marlboro Grand Prix of Qatar at the Losail International Circuit.

Quick-starting Hayden roared into fourth place after starting eighth on the grid. The 24-year-old then set a new lap record round the twisting 5.380km track situated on the outskirts of Doha.

He overtook eventual winner Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) down the start-finish straight on the fourth lap to take second place, but slipped back behind Honda colleague Marco Melandri after running wide at turn three. Hayden never lost touch of Sete Gibernau (Honda) and the leading group, with Rossi and Melandri swapping places behind the Spaniard. Four laps from the end of a titanic battle, Gibernau overshot a corner and rejoined behind Hayden who crossed the line 5.5s down on Rossi.

"I'm so happy to be to be on the podium," smiled Hayden, whose 16 points moves him up to fifth overall. "Before the race things weren't going to plan. In the morning warm-up we were so slow and were in real trouble. My guys made some changes and I have to be real grateful to them as they got it right and that's why I got third. The bike was so much better in the race than it had been all weekend - so much faster."

"The Michelins were brilliant - so much grip! I got an awesome start. In turn one my buddy Sete ran into the back of me again but I stayed on. In the race I just hung on in there. I wasn't sure I was going to make it back but I'm here. I was pushing so hard to stay with the lead group and there were some pretty scary moments. It wasn't pretty with Sete running off but I'll take the result the way the weekend was going."


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