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Slow start for Hayden on West Coast

Slow start for Hayden on West Coast

The 2005 and 2006 Laguna racewinner Nicky Hayden needs to get on the pace at round eight having started the weekend in 14th place on Friday.

The biggest event of the year thus far for Nicky Hayden commenced in modest fashion on Friday with the Kentucky rider lapping down in 14th on the FP1 timesheet at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix.

Ducati have a significant fanbase in the United States and with Hayden this weekend making his first American appearance for the Italian factory the pressure is on for the former World Champion to at least try and match his top five result from last year’s race.

Although Hayden also has Indianapolis to look forward to late in August the visit to Laguna is a key moment in his first season with Ducati as he looks to kickstart his campaign, at the track where he took home victories in ’05 & ’06, having only twice featured in the top ten so far this year.

On the first day of action at Laguna, Hayden said, “It’s a new bike and new tyres for me here but I have been riding it all year and it shouldn’t have taken this long to get used to. This is not what I wanted from the first practice and I certainly hoped to be a lot closer to the pace.”

“Change of direction was quite slow and I didn’t feel that the acceleration was good. Coming out of the corners it felt very flat and not enough power, so hopefully we can find something with electronics or fuel mapping and make a big step on Saturday.”

On whether the data gathered by his team-mate Casey Stoner on the Ducati in the Australian’s successful 2007 and 2008 appearances at the track would be helpful over the weekend, Hayden commented, “As far as base set-up and base transmission are concerned sure his data is important and we have our electronic mapping in place from that so it is useful.”

MotoGP, 2009, RED BULL U.S. GRAND PRIX, Nicky Hayden, Ducati Marlboro Team

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