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Hayden ends Malaysian test ahead of rivals

Hayden ends Malaysian test ahead of rivals

The 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden will leave Malaysia with his confidence boosted after concluding the final day of the winter test at Sepang a sizeable 1.219s margin in front of second fastest participant and compatriot Colin Edwards, of Yamaha Tech3.

The 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden will leave Malaysia with his confidence boosted after concluding the final day of the winter test at Sepang a sizeable 1.219s margin in front of second fastest participant and compatriot Colin Edwards, of Yamaha Tech3.

Though Hayden topped the timesheet courtesy of a lap on qualifying tyres, the time of 2'00.592s will nonetheless provide a feeling of satisfaction for the hard working American, being 0.013s quicker than Valentino Rossi's pole record at the South East Asian circuit on 990cc machinery.

Having finished 0.6s off the pace on Friday – and having had a close encounter with a snake on track at Sepang – Hayden's Saturday performance saw him bounce back in style as he concentrated on tyre testing for Michelin onboard his new RC212V and also made some final runs on his 2007 model.

It was no surprise that Hayden was also the most prolific rider – he did 85 laps on Saturday and he will conclude his 2007 MotoGP activity in Jerez at the end of this month in the final test of the year, where he will be rejoined by Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa.

Commenting on his success Hayden said: "Overall we've had a good final day and it was nice to set the fastest time. We wanted to check a couple of details with the 2007 machine just before we said goodbye to it. The bike really worked well with the Michelin rear qualifying tyre, plus the track has definitely been cleaner at this test than at the race in October and the temperature for that fast lap this morning was a lot better than on the Saturday of the Grand Prix when we qualified – which was about the hottest day of the year here."

The trip to Malaysia was also a successful journey for Hayden's fellow American Edwards, who ended up second quickest overall, having enjoyed testing the new Yamaha M1. The experienced Texan rider's time of 2'01.811 was a significant improvement on the 2'03.013 best race lap from the Grand Prix visit to Sepang with Fiat Yamaha earlier this year.

The timesheet's top three was completed by another American, John Hopkins who suffered an inconsequential crash on Saturday and is settling in well overall with new team Kawasaki Racing.

Italian 250cc graduate Andrea Dovizioso has made great progress in his adaptation to 800cc machinery over the last 72 hours with new set-up JiR Team Scot and he finished the test in fourth place, just over half a second quicker than seventh placed World Champion Jorge Lorenzo who of course is also promoted from the quarter litre category for 2008.

Fifth placed Chris Vermeulen was another crasher on Saturday, but was just ahead of new Rizla Suzuki colleague Loris Capirossi in terms of best lap times.

In eighth and ninth respectively Anthony West (Kawasaki) and Randy de Puniet (Honda LCR) both also had accidents, Frenchman De Puniet suffering an injury to his right thumb which will need further examination to assess whether a fracture has been sustained.

Although Englishman James Toseland propped up the timesheet, after his first three days of MotoGP activity with Yamaha Tech3, his lap times were respectable and he will take the positives with him as he heads into his second testing session on 27th November in Jerez.

Malaysia winter test – day three – official lap times:
1. N. HAYDEN, Repsol Honda - 2'00.592 (85 laps)
2. C. EDWARDS, Yamaha Tech3 - 2'01.811 (45)
3. J. HOPKINS, Kawasaki Racing - 2'02.047 (46)
4. A. DOVIZIOSO, JiR Team Scot - 2'02.128 (50)
5. C. VERMEULEN, Rizla Suzuki - 2'02.447 (62)
6. L. CAPIROSSI, Rizla Suzuki - 2'02.587 (72)
7. J. LORENZO, Fiat Yamaha - 2'02.643 (83)
8. A. WEST, Kawasaki Racing - 2'02.659 (74)
9. R. DE PUNIET, Honda LCR - 2'02.700 (60)
10. J. TOSELAND, Yamaha Tech3 - 2'03.550 (53)

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, Nicky Hayden

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