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Hayden on ‘most up-and-down week of the year'

Hayden on ‘most up-and-down week of the year'

Hayden on ‘most up-and-down week of the year'

Having qualified in a relatively low eighth position on the grid, Nicky Hayden delivered a barnstorming performance at the Losail International Circuit to clinch another podium finish on the Repsol Honda RC211V behind Valentino Rossi and Marco Melandri. It was an unexpectedly positive result for the ‘Kentucky Kid', whose weekend had started well before he suffered front-end trouble like many other Michelin runners.

"This was probably the most up-and-down week of the year... but I would say it ended pretty well," said Hayden. "We came out of the gate strong... I was the fastest in the FP1 and 3rd in FP2, but on Friday we stalled out, I just couldn't find the front grip I needed to push through the fast corners and was making no progress."

"Qualifying ended my run of 11 consecutive top 2 rows starts. I tried some stuff during Saturday morning warm-up on both bikes and, having tried them both, liked the front end on one and the rear traction on the other. But my times were slow and I thought I was in real trouble... so for the race we combined the two settings and it worked."

"I got an unreal start and the first lap was really good... I was with the leaders to at least give me a chance. I rode my hardest and hung out to try and stay in the fight and went faster than I'd gone all week, even quicker than with the qualifying tire."

"But in the end I had to settle for third, but considering how things were looking before the start, I was happy for myself and my guys to get a podium and to get another fastest lap of the race."

"Everything else all went smoothly for the most part, about the biggest drama was before the start when our Brolly Dolly chicks came out in their normal skimpy gear and the officials said `Na Na´ because of their religion - they had to wear sleeves and their knees couldn't be seen. A few people had to scramble to get them geared up... It was a good laugh for all the boys. So, now I'm back home for a week to regroup and `it's on´ at Paradise Island!"


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