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Hayden shows dedication of a champion at Phillip Island

Hayden shows dedication of a champion at Phillip Island

World Champion Nicky Hayden made a strong start to the Phillip Island test by placing fourth on the timesheets at the end of day one. The American continues his comeback from shoulder surgery and, although still trying to rebuild strength, still managed to beat his fastest race lap at the Australian track by over two tenths of a second.

World Champion Nicky Hayden made a strong start to the Phillip Island test by placing fourth on the timesheets at the end of day one. The American continues his comeback from shoulder surgery and, although still trying to rebuild strength, still managed to beat his fastest race lap at the Australian track by over two tenths of a second.

Hayden's lap of 1'31.18 will be encouraging for Honda, who have yet to top the timesheets in 2007. At a track where Ducati are traditionally fast, having riders Marco Melandri, the Kentucky Kid and team-mate Dani Pedrosa all in the top five is nothing to be sniffed at. Hayden had previously expressed his concern about the size of the bike, and had acknowledged that the factory were "a little behind at the moment."

As always, Hayden was relentless in his quest to adapt the bike to his liking. With 81 laps of the Australian track under his belt, the champ was the busiest rider of the day. Rain at 4pm drew the session to an early conclusion, although "Trick Daddy" still has two further days at his disposal.

"We got in a pretty full day of testing today, working mainly on settings and trying to improve the bike geometry-wise. We were also confirming some of the things I liked from the test in Malaysia last week and checking they work on a totally different track under totally different conditions," commented the 25 year old. "The new 800cc bike is pretty fun to ride here - in a few of these corners you carry some serious speed. We realise we've got some work still to do but the bike feels a bit better here. We were cut short by the rain but we dodged a bullet because it looked like it could have rained a lot earlier. And we got a lot of data today for the boys to analyse – so we'll see what we can do tomorrow."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, Nicky Hayden

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