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Hayden benefits from early bike change at Indianapolis

Hayden benefits from early bike change at Indianapolis

Nicky Hayden switched bikes for the afternoon session at Indianapolis, and feels in a better position to take the Repsol Honda RC212V to success this weekend.

Nicky Hayden´s Indianapolis homecoming began under soaking conditions, and the American was thankful that he made an early switch to his more appropriate second bike. Teammate Dani Pedrosa, meanwhile, had a day of learning owing to his new engine, Bridgestone tyres and an unknown circuit.

Nicky Hayden - Eighth

`Man, some serious rain out there this afternoon and this morning. It certainly hasn´t made things easy for anybody. We started both sessions kinda slow. This afternoon I wasn´t feeling so comfortable, then Pete [Benson, Hayden's crew chief] wanted me to change bikes which was a good idea. The other bike had a little different set-up on it and felt better, so I was able to go faster, even though conditions were getting worse and worse. It´s not been a perfect first day but we´ve got a bit of data and learned a few things, the main thing is there's so much standing water. I'd say it´s worst through that whole first section – turns one, two and three – and also at turns, seven eight and nine. At the end of the afternoon it got so bad that we shut her down early, we weren't going to learn anything in those conditions. The first part of the track, with the new surface, is very slippery, like ice. The old surface has really good grip, that´s another big thing: there's different grip all over the track. The heel is not too bad in the rain, if anything it makes it a little bit easier. I'm confident we can improve tomorrow. I think our tyres are okay, the main thing is finding something for the aquaplaning. They say the weather's not looking real good for the rest of the weekend – the fans are already suffering, so that´s not cool for them.´

Dani Pedrosa - Seventeenth

`Today has been a tough but interesting day. Everything was new: bike, tyres and track. Also this is the first time I have ridden the pneumatic-valve machine and Bridgestone tyres in wet conditions. That´s why we started calm this morning and then improved my lap times this afternoon. The rain made the process of adaptation to the new bike and tyres more difficult, but considering that this is only the first day, I´m quite happy. Now it´s important to improve session by session, we need to gain experience and confidence. I still haven´t found the limit with the Bridgestone rain tyres. This track is complicated by the fact that there are several different types of asphalt. The old asphalt is incredibly grippy, while the new section at the start of the lap is much more slippery, with a risk of aquaplaning. On the straight there´s so much standing water that you can hardly open the throttle. The circuit layout is unusual but there are some interesting sections. We need time to work on the bike and adapt the set-up but I´m confident. Tomorrow we hope to make another step forward. It will be important to get a good result in qualifying because the first corner is very near to the start and the next three turns are quite tight.´

MotoGP, 2008, RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GRAND PRIX, Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda Team

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