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Elated Hayden says first Ducati test `exactly as expected´

Elated Hayden says first Ducati test `exactly as expected´

2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden was happy with his first day of testing as a Ducati rider.

Nicky Hayden was not short of motivation for his Monday step into the unknown, as eager to ride the Ducati Desmosedici GP9 for the first time as the fans were curious to see him do so. If Marco Melandri knew from the first moment that the Italian bike was not for him this time last year, the 2006 MotoGP World Champion was left with a somewhat sweeter taste in his mouth after the maiden run in Valencia.

`I certainly didn´t have any problem getting out of bed this morning!´ joked Hayden after an exhaustive 79-lap introduction to the Ducati. `I enjoyed it and I can see that the potential is huge. I know it´s going to be a lot of hard work, but I´m not ready to go and hang myself either! I felt pretty comfortable with the bike, the team and everything. It has been a very intense day and full of many things to test and to understand, but it was exactly as I expected it to be.´

The American was using a special `Stars & Stripes´ livery for his first outing on the new bike, but the engine inside was the same typical beast that has proved so difficult to tame for even some of the best riders in the series. Hayden found out firsthand the power needed to manage the machine, upping his respect for 2007 MotoGP World Champion and new teammate Casey Stoner yet further.

`When I got in the first time I told my brother (Tommy) that I´m not sure what they pay Casey, but it´s not enough! They need to double it because the bike is a bit of an animal!´ continued the `Kentucky Kid´. `I really want it to work. I want it to work so bad that it´s scary, and we´re up for it.´

Hayden´s best lap on Monday was a 1´33.960 with the GP9, although he had performed his opening series of laps with the GP8. In both cases he was getting accustomed to not just a new bike, but to using Bridgestone tyres for the first time in his career.

Both Hayden and Stoner will be in action on Tuesday for the final day of the Valencia test.

MotoGP, 2008, Nicky Hayden, Ducati Marlboro Team

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