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Hayden in best grid spot of 2009 so far

Hayden in best grid spot of 2009 so far

Despite his spectacular crash at Sachsenring Nicky Hayden qualified in fourth place at the Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland on Saturday.

Former MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden has seen an upturn in form in recent rounds and his progress continued at Sachsenring on Saturday afternoon as he produced his best qualifying performance to date with Ducati.

The American star lapped in 1’34.404 to put his Desmosedici at the front of the second row, but he was walking awkwardly after the session following a spectacular highside on the tricky downhill turn eight, which saw him land on Ducati satellite rider Niccolò Canepa, who was also sent tumbling into the gravel.

Hayden, who already had a fast lap in the bag, commented afterwards, “The session was actually a bit of a disaster, I went out on the first bike and going into turn one the gearbox locked up, I thought I was down there. It stayed in second gear so I rolled all the way back in like that. I got on the second bike and didn’t feel that comfortable as I knew I only had one bike so I was going quite cautiously, then once I got going I felt alright.”

He continued, “Then we made a couple of changes and I got right on the pace. On the last run I went out, I knew I was a bit on the limit but I felt I had a chance to maybe do something special. I was going for it, I was setting my best time going through T1, then in the downhill the rear went away and there was nothing I could do. I’m sorry for Niccolò because it was just a case of ‘wrong place, wrong time’.”

Asked whether he felt he could be competitive in Sunday’s race in the event of more rain, Hayden replied, “I have felt pretty good all year in the wet. Sometimes this bike works quite well in the wet but it doesn’t give a lot of feedback. It is stiff and sometimes it is hard to know what it is going to do, but it still goes well overall in the wet, so I’m pretty happy.”

MotoGP, 2009, ALICE MOTORRAD GRAND PRIX DEUTSCHLAND, Nicky Hayden, Ducati Marlboro Team

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