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Benson provides insights on RC212V improvement

Benson provides insights on RC212V improvement

At the end of last week's MotoGP test in Malaysia, which saw Repsol Honda's Nicky Hayden top the timesheets on the final day, the American's chief mechanic Pete Benson spoke to motogp.com about the team's 2008 preparations thus far.

At the end of last week's MotoGP test in Malaysia, which saw Repsol Honda's Nicky Hayden top the timesheets on the final day, the American's chief mechanic Pete Benson spoke to motogp.com about the team's 2008 preparations thus far.

In the sweltering heat at Sepang, in contrasting fortunes to colleague Dani Pedrosa who went home injured on the first day, Hayden rounded off the opening practice sessions of the year as the fastest rider of the week, courtesy of a 2'00.326s time on qualifying tyres.

Having also produced a solid 2'01.6s effort on race tyres in Malaysia and having shown some promising signs in post-season tests at the end of last year, Hayden already appears to be more confident aboard the latest incarnation of Honda's RC212V.

"I think by the first race we'll be pretty good," commented Benson on Hayden's progression. "The chassis is a lot better than what we had last year."

However, the Honda mechanic also revealed that there is still plenty of work to do with the new 2008 pneumatic-valve engine, after Hayden himself admitted that the combination of the 2007 motor and the updated chassis had provided him with his best times at the South East Asian track.

"The engine we've got at the moment doesn't really suit Nicky that much, but I think Dani likes it as it's more suited to his type of power delivery," said Benson.

Nonetheless the Sepang visit produced reasons for optimism overall for Hayden, courtesy of his typical hard-work ethic and the resultant timesheet-topping personal best lap time on Thursday, which prompted Benson to conclude: "The front end of the bike is a lot better. It's a lot more confident-feeling for Nicky. The general handling package I think suits Nicky's style a lot better than what we had last year."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, Repsol Honda Team

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