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Hayden feeling comfortable with Honda engine

Hayden feeling comfortable with Honda engine

Honda´s pneumatic valve engine saga continued with a positive Catalunya test for Nicky Hayden.

Another Grand Prix looms and, for Repsol Honda, so does the difficult choice of whether to run the pneumatic valve RC212V engine. Nicky Hayden participated in two days of testing at the Catalunya circuit on Monday and Tuesday, with positive feedback given by the 2006 World Champion - but a Donington decision is still to be made.

`We´ll need to wait on the data collected today to see what we´ll do,´ said Hayden on Tuesday after having comparing the pneumatic and spring valve engines in separate runs.

`There are definitely some differences, and it´s a lot closer to the finished article than it was in preseason. The first day was really positive; the power comes in stronger in places but things are going good,´ he added.

`I was pretty happy, because the chassis feels different with this engine; the power when you pick it up is a bit loose -which makes it harder- but I always thought that the chassis was better with this engine.´

As in preseason, Hayden´s teammate Dani Pedrosa had limited time with the latest development in Catalunya and was prescribed complete rest for 48 hours after crashing with the standard version of the engine and hurting his back. This time round, Pedrosa´s absence was not thought to have overly affected the schedule.

`I´m not sure what his plan was, or from HRC´s side if his injury will interrupt things,´ said Hayden, whose Chief Mechanic Pete Benson also commented on whether he would be happy with an engine switch for Donington.

`Almost...depending on things in this test,´ said the New Zealander. `Nicky likes it, and that´s a good start. It could do with a little more top speed, but the balance seems good for Nicky´s style. If this is good, we´ve got the potential to improve at Donington, where he hasn´t gone too well before.´

MotoGP, 2008, Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda Team

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