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Hayden: `It feels good to be competitive again´

Hayden: `It feels good to be competitive again´

The 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden was in a good mood in Thursday´s official pre-event press conference at the Polini Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Having come back from his recent foot injury to record two podium finishes in Indianapolis and Australia and an additional top five result in Japan, Repsol Honda´s Nicky Hayden admits his recent form has lifted his spirits after a frustrating period for the American.

Summarising the events of the last few weeks Hayden told the media in Thursday´s press conference at Sepang: `It has been quite good fun, they are not great results but it has been fun to be getting front rows and to be on the podium a couple of times. At least I have been able to wake up in the morning and believe that I have a real chance of doing something, which just feels good.´

`I have been getting a lot of support from guys from other teams congratulating me, which they don´t have to do so that makes me feel pretty good,´ Hayden added. `I want to have two good weekends and then start anew.´

The former world title holder is heading for pastures new with a move to Ducati Marlboro at the end of the current season and with just two races to go he is determined to do a good job this weekend - at a circuit where he has been close to the rostrum on several occasions, having finished fourth in Malaysia four years running from 2003-06.

He stated, `They don´t just give those podiums away just because you deserve them, you certainly have to earn them. It is a track which everyone knows well and I like it pretty good. It has got a little bit of everything, it is quite challenging and in the afternoons it can really be tough to go fast when it gets hot and greasy. Tyre choice is really important because of the temperatures and when we tested here our tyres were pretty good so we´ll see how things go on Sunday.´

When asked by journalists about a recent interview he gave to the Spanish press about Repsol Honda´s team structure and the response it prompted in Alberto Puig´s interview last week on, Hayden commented, `I don´t really want to get into a catfight and go back and forth with words. I am not even sure what I was quoted as saying once it got translated.´

`I think I said something about (Alberto) Puig running our team and running HRC at the moment and I really believe that. I do think (Kazuhiko) Yamano has done a great job as a team manager because he is in a tough spot. I know he´s got a lot of heat coming at him from all directions.´

MotoGP, 2008, POLINI MALAYSIAN MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX, Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda Team

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