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Hayden notes Michelin improvement on return from injury

Hayden notes Michelin improvement on return from injury

Nicky Hayden admitted Michelin´s difficulties at Brno made it easier to deal with missing out on the Czech Republic date, but says their material has improved for this weekend in Misano.

Having missed out on the trip to the Czech Republic a fortnight ago, Nicky Hayden was back on track in the opening Gran Premio Cinzano di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini free practice session on Friday morning, setting the sixth fastest time of the outing.

The 2006 World Champion was advised by Dr. Artur Ting not to participate at Brno after he injured his right foot in an exhibition ride in Los Angeles, during the summer break, and was riding in some discomfort in FP1 as he went round just over a second slower than pace-setter Casey Stoner.

Nontheless, although Hayden that Michelin´s well-publicised Brno woes actually made it easier to cope with the frustration of being unable to ride at the Czech Republic venue, he was of course keen to focus on the positives and noted an apparent improvement from the French manufacturer judging by the early signs at Misano.

The Kentucky Kid was one of five Michelin equipped riders in the top ten as the San Marino event got underway, and commented `It certainly made it easier being at home and knowing that I probably didn´t have a chance to do too much at Brno. I felt bad for missing it, for my team, but I really had no option. Michelin got a lot of heat after the last two or three races and rightfully so, but it looks like they have done a good job this weekend and we´ll give them some credit. Though it is still really early and we have only done a few laps.´

However, while Michelin´s supposed small step forward brought some relief as the American rider battled against the pain in his still sore extremity, Hayden revealed that he had hoped his pneumatic valve-powered RC212V would have reached higher levels of competitiveness by this stage in the season - despite HRC test rider Tady Okada´s recent claims that it is a much improved machine since its race debut in Mugello in June.

The 27 year-old Repsol Honda rider stated, `It is better, there are less lights and less problems. But I can´t say it has improved maybe as quickly as I thought it was going to. HRC have worked hard, but Tady is an HRC guy so he has to say those things. We have made progress, but it has been slowly.´


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