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Hayden: `Home advantage is over´

Hayden: `Home advantage is over´

One of four riders participating in their home Grand Prix this weekend, Repsol Honda´s Nicky Hayden feels his edge over the competition at Laguna Seca is not what it was in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

The winner of the 2005 and 2006 races at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Nicky Hayden was unable to make the historic `three-peat´ last year after an incident on the opening lap. The former MotoGP World Champion remains one of the big favourites for victory at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, but has also indicated that the home advantage enjoyed over the past three years is not as great as it once was.

`Racing your home race is always a special deal and something I don´t take lightly. The first couple of years I came to MotoGP we didn´t have a US GP, so I think that makes me cherish it, treasure it even more,´ explains the `Kentucky Kid´.

`I wouldn´t say it's my home track as far as knowing it goes because the MotoGP guys have had three years there, so I don't think it has any advantage for me anymore. But that home crowd's got to be worth something.´

Hayden currently lies eighth in the World Championship standings, and has been hit by a string of misfortune in his quest for a first podium of 2008. At Assen his engine cut out before the line and cost him the final rostrum place to Colin Edwards, whilst in Germany further mechanical difficulties left him unable to finish higher than 13th.

`I´m excited to go to Laguna, even if we go there on a bit of a run of bad luck. Hopefully things will turn around for us, it would be a nice place to get everything to roll from Friday through to Sunday,´ Hayden continues.

`Whatever happens I´ll just keep pushing. Laguna certainly has a special place in my heart. The track itself is like one big lap, it´s not like all different sections, a lot of the turns lead into one another, so you´ve really got to put it all together. Like if you screw up the Corkscrew you miss the next three or four corners. It´s a very technical track and I love it.´

`Last year we struggled, it was our worse place for tyres all year. But I´m excited now because I´ve seen how much Michelin have improved at other tracks this year.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, RED BULL U.S. GRAND PRIX, Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda Team

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