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Repsol Honda relishing Misano challenge

Repsol Honda relishing Misano challenge

The last time that a new track was introduced to the MotoGP calendar, Nicky Hayden was the victor for two years running.

The last time that a new track was introduced to the MotoGP calendar, Nicky Hayden was the victor for two years running. However, that was Laguna Seca, a circuit that the current MotoGP World Champion knew like the back of his hand, and Misano will be a very different challenge for Trick Daddy.

Never one to back down from a tough task however, the American is relishing the chance to add another string to his bow and learn a new circuit. Hayden has been discounting an unlucky return to Laguna Seca - on a rich run of podium form in recent races, and is confident after a positive testing session after the race at Brno.

´Its quite exciting going to a new track and its definitely going to be a challenge. A couple of years ago there were a few new venues on the calendar but its been a while since weve been to a new one. Im looking forward to it because its a challenge for the riders and the teams to try to get a set-up and a direction as quickly as possible,´ explains Hayden.

´Basically none of us know the track a few of the Italian riders have checked it for safety but no-ones ridden a MotoGP bike here. Im expecting a big weekend. Ive heard the atmosphere at Misano is quite wild and its right in the Italian riders neck of the woods so it should be an exciting event. One of the major factors is going to be tyres again. Weve seen this year that when weve gone to tracks with a new surface like Sachsenring or Laguna Seca it all came down to tyres. Hopefully we can get a good early direction with Michelin, get rolling quickly on Friday morning and see what happens when the lights go out on Sunday.´

With the added distraction of contract talks on his mind, Haydens team-mate Dani Pedrosa also has pressure to perform at Misano. Perhaps too far off World Championship leader Casey Stoners points tally to provide the Australian with any real threat, the Spaniard still has one eye on the second spot currently occupied by Valentino Rossi. Pedrosa insists that he is just taking things on a race-by-race basis.

´Im excited about going to Misano because Ive never visited the track before though I have watched old Grand Prix races from there so it will be very interesting to see the circuit for myself,´ says Pedrosa, who identifies tyres as the key to the race.

´The direction is reversed now and there are some changes to the circuit, so everyone is going to be starting from the same point. This means well have to be clever with our decisions on tyres and set-up. For sure its going to be a great atmosphere with the Italian fans coming to support the local riders if its anything like Mugello then it will be another special weekend.´

´The tyres and temperature will be important again this weekend. We spent a couple of days testing after the last race at Brno and were hoping the things we learnt there will help us for Misano. For the championship we must continue to fight for the best result possible. Casey is a long way in front and to catch him will be very, very difficult but we will just focus on doing the best we can at each race.´


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