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Nicky Hayden: calling the shots in 2006

Nicky Hayden: calling the shots in 2006

Nicky Hayden: calling the shots in 2006

In his fourth season in the MotoGP World Championship, Repsol Honda Team´s American rider Nicky Hayden sees himself in charge of the RC211V´s development.Since his arrival in the World Championship in 2003, Hayden has shared teams with three riders: Valentino Rossi, Alex Barros and Max Biaggi. On these three occasions the `guys on the other side of the garage´were the ones calling the shots for HRC´s technicians. This time Hayden is the experienced hand, with newcomer Dani Pedrosa his young understudy.

In this interview with the American rider, given last week after the Sepang Test, he reviews his preseason and talks about how the new Honda´s development is coming along.

You´ve got quite a hard job Nicky….

"Well, we´ve had three hard days testing the different bikes and with so much material to be tested you end up a little confused. The weather wasn't of much help either...I know that it´s been the same for all of us but it seemed as if every time I wanted to get onto the track to compare data, the rain decided to fall. It´s been a bit frustrating because we left many questions unanswered."

What can you tell us about the new 2006 bike?

"The new bike has great potential, but as soon as I get on the other I look at the clock and the times come out easier. I´ve been lapping two days on the new bike and we´ve made good progress. It´s been the first time I had the chance to spend some time testing the chassis and the engine; I´ve been faster than last time and that's positive. It is still a prototype and we have a lot of things to test yet, because it´s quite different than my other bike. It would have been good to have more time to test both bikes alternately, but the changing weather conditions and the rain ruined any attempt."

Worried?

Well, we're not in the best position because we´re running out of time, but there are many people working to make everything work out and I´m convinced that we're going to make it. Working with HRC and the potential they have is always a guarantee to find solutions.

The preseason is coming to an end and in little more than one month the 2006 World Championship is going to start in Jerez. What do you expect of the next tests in Barcelona and Jerez?

The next two tests in Barcelona and Jerez will be very important. They are usually quite amusing due to the atmosphere there, on the verge of the first race of the season. They are exciting events and we'll keep on working on what we have learned from Sepang. Times start to count there, because there won't be much time left for the Spanish Grand Prix. The only thing we can do is to keep on working hard and use those two tests left the best way we can.

We´ve seen three bikes in your garage these days, and Tadayuki Okada helping you on the track as test rider. Has the decision about the way to follow already been taken?

"Yes, we cannot wait any longer and at the last meeting we had in Sepang after the third test day we already took important decisions.

This is your fourth season in the Repsol Honda Team and the first you are going to be in charge of the evolution of the new bike. What a feeling do you have when you suddenly see yourself surrounded by all those Japanese engineers and technicians - we´ve counted up to twelve - all of them listening to every word you say?

"Yeah, it's motivating to see so many people working for me, all together with the same aim."

You didn´t look very happy at the end of these tests in Sepang... No, I'm not very happy. I expected to be faster and to have things under control, but it hasn't been as I wanted. The only thing I hope is to be able to work hard to get where the whole team wants to get.

And now, back home to the US to have some rest…

"No, I wish I could… Now we're going to Japan, first to a GAS event and then to the Honda Party of the start of the season. This is a part of the year with a lot of work, but also very exciting and I'm really looking forward to the first Grand Prix in Jerez.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2006, Nicky Hayden

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