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Family, friends and fans backing Hayden for victory

Family, friends and fans backing Hayden for victory

After his second podium finish in as many races last Sunday, Nicky Hayden arrives at Laguna Seca for his biggest weekend of the year looking increasingly competitive onboard his recently modified Honda RC212V.

After his second podium finish in as many races last Sunday, Nicky Hayden arrives at Laguna Seca for his biggest weekend of the year boosted in confidence by another determined ride at Sachsenring and looking increasingly competitive onboard his recently modified Honda RC212V.

The 25 year-old Kentuckian already knows that after a disappointing start to the season the 123 points deficit by which he trails Australian rider Casey Stoner in the World Championship standings gives him no realistic chance of clawing back into the title fight.

If retaining the title is beyond him then a third win on home soil is a far more achievable goal and going into the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix Hayden has hit form just at the right moment - with those consecutive third place finishes in The Netherlands and Germany.

His return to running at the front, as he puts it himself, has not gone unnoticed by motogp.com users with 61.3% of voters backing Hayden for victory at Laguna in our survey this week.

The ever positive Repsol Honda rider has commented recently that his main objectives for the remainder of 2007 are to keep learning, improving and enjoying racing.

His admirable work ethic, undoubted riding ability and the recent adaptation of his 800cc Honda machinery mean that adding to his list of MotoGP podium finishes and victories is a distinct possibility and there will be plenty of people present at this weekends Californian race to give him extra support.

Whilst his brother Roger Lee will be competing against him on this occasion as a Kawasaki wildcard, Hayden can count on the full support of the rest of his bike-mad family as he attempts to complete a hat-trick of U.S. victories, in addition to the friends and American fans who will be cheering him on from the stands in the West Coast sunshine.

Hayden explained his mind-set going into the Laguna weekend, saying: ´It is a big challenge to go back to Laguna for the race in my home country, but I am really dying to enjoy myself there. Right now I have a lot less pressure on me, compared to last year, because in 2006 I went to Laguna as the points leader in the championship and I really felt that I had to win or I would send the wrong signals to my rivals in the title fight.´

´I was the favourite and I had a lot of pressure on me to win. There is still some pressure this year, but not so much as last year. The truth is that racing at home is not the big advantage that it was for me. We have had two races there and the other riders have got the hang of the circuit. Even so, I like the circuit and I will do my best to get that third consecutive victory in front of my compatriots, in my own country.´

Things have been difficult this year but we have had a couple of decent results in the last two races, so I am going to fight to win this one too. We have made some improvements to the bike lately and I have had bettter sensations than at the start of the season. The competition is really tough in MotoGP and nobody is here to dress up the points situation, but I feel that I have nothing to lose so I am simply going to go out to win this weekend.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, RED BULL U.S. GRAND PRIX, Nicky Hayden

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