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Hayden on double duty with Indianapolis and Mugello visits

Hayden on double duty with Indianapolis and Mugello visits

2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden has been keeping active with a shakedown lap of Indianapolis, but this week it´s back to business in Mugello for the American.

Nicky Hayden is undoubtedly one of the busiest riders in this year´s edition of the MotoGP World Championship. In addition to the five Grands Prix and marathon testing sessions already under his belt in 2008, the Repsol Honda rider has also been doing his bit to raise awareness of September 14th´s Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix in his downtime.

The 2006 MotoGP World Champion performed the inaugural lap of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course back in April and, as reported yesterday, was on hand with his 800cc RC212V to give fans at the Indy 500 a special taster of premier class action.

As can be seen in the accompanying video, Hayden took in the atmosphere of the world famous car race in a whirlwind tour of the IMS paddock. Happy to get on the gas in front of around 250,000 fans, the American´s parade laps of the track were a sight to behold for those unfamiliar with the roar of an 800cc machine.

However, come this weekend it is `back to business´ for Hayden, as he aims to pick up his season in Mugello. The 26 year-old will have some help for the future in the form of Tadayuki Okada, developing the pneumatic valve Honda engine, but at present is still dubious that Italy can provide him with the needed boost.

`Mugello will be another hard one, because right now we´re missing a bit – we know it´s there, we´ve just got to put it all together,´ he admits.

`The track is awesome, I´d say it´s one of the best tracks, the best races we go to all year, the atmosphere is pretty unique. The track has a little bit of everything. The big front straightaway looks straight and easy on TV but when you´re in the saddle it´s got a little kink in it over a rise. The wheel´s off the ground through there, so you can´t be leaning too much or sawing on the handlebars!´

`The track has got lots of chicanes, though they´re fast chicanes, not the little Mickey Mouse go-kart chicanes you see at other tracks, they´re quite quick switchbacks. There´s also a lot of elevation changes and a few downhill corners that are tricky so you need a front end with feeling, you´ve got to trust the front end a lot. The surface is getting well used, quite bumpy and abrasive,´ analyses Hayden, whose best result in Mugello is a third place back in his title-winning year.

MotoGP, 2008, Nicky Hayden

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