Biaggi and Hayden determined to pick up the pieces at Estoril

Thursday, 14 April 2005

Biaggi and Hayden determined to pick up the pieces at Estoril

The first leg of the 2005 MotoGP World Champion in Jerez witnessed one of the most thrilling race weekends in recent years, but for Repsol Honda Team riders Nicky Hayden and Max Biaggi, it proved to be race full of disappointment.

Having been the fasted in the practice session a week before the race, and having run an excellent race full of promise for a third-position finish at Jerez, North American rider Nicky Hayden made a mistake with just a few laps to go – a mistake that sent him onto the gravel and robbed him of his Jerez-podium dreams.

Reflecting upon the race, the disappointed American said, "After crashing out of the first race I'm happy we can get back on the bike quickly and put Jerez behind us. It's hard to look at positives so soon after such a knock but the team are really strong and we are super-determined.

"There is a really good spirit with my guys. I gave my thumb a bit of a knock when I fell which I hope will be fine when I get on the bike on Friday for the first Free Practice. It's not the first time I've hit it around! I missed the race last year as I broke my shoulder just before it so I haven't got a huge amount of experience round the track there but that won't stop us from coming out strong as soon as the weekend starts."

A different kind of race ensued for team-mate Max Biaggi. After starting off in 16th position, the Italian's worst starting position riding in MotoGP, Biaggi made steady progress throughout the race but ultimately only managed to take a modest seventh place.

"I left Spain hoping to have paid off my due to bad luck or whatever it was. I go to Portugal united with my team more than ever, with only one common goal: being the main actors again. The Jerez race did not really match my expectations, or those of my team- mates.

Having filled Biaggi and his team with frustration, the events at Jerez seem also to have strengthened the resolve of the Italian and his Repsol Honda Team.

Biaggi, determined to get back on form at the Estoril track said, "In Estoril we must solve all our question marks. I'm sure this is possible. I trust completely HRC. We are very motivated and the first race, even if so difficult, didn't discourage us. I like the Portuguese circuit; there I rode some great races.

Believe me, I have never wanted so badly to be part of the game like now. In Jerez, when I entered the pit after the race, everybody acclaimed me clapping their hands. It was fantastic: it meant that my entire team was on the bike with me and every one of them understood how hard it was from the first to the final lap. On the wave of this great emotion I'll go down to the track next Sunday."

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