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Hayden assesses first season with Ducati

Hayden assesses first season with Ducati

Two top five finishes in the final two rounds could not lift Nicky Hayden any higher than 13th in the final standings but he is ready to start the hard work for Ducati’s 2010 project this week in Valencia.

Nicky Hayden is no stranger to hard work and is a big fan of testing his MotoGP machinery whenever he gets the chance, so after a frustrating first season with the Ducati Marlboro team – which has seen him suffer bad luck on several occasions – the American rider will be an enthusiastic participant in this week’s three day Valencia test.

It would be no surprise to see Hayden total up more laps than any of his MotoGP rivals this week on the latest model of the Desmosedici, as the former World Champion completes a year since first testing with the Italian factory at the end of last season.

Reading through the final 2009 World Championship classification after the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana will be an uncomfortable experience for the Kentuckian competitor, but Hayden has undoubtedly been on an upwards trend throughout the year and Sunday brought him a second top five result in two races.

“It’s not spectacular, but we’ve ended the season with two top fives and we know we have a direction to work in over the winter,” stated Hayden after the Valencia race. “It hasn’t been a great season for me in terms of results but the improvements we have made since the start are huge and I’m excited about the future. We’re 13th overall, which looks awful on paper, but we are only eleven points off seventh and I had three first-lap incidents that weren’t my fault – just one of those could have made the difference. Next season starts on Monday and I can’t wait to get back to work.”

Reviewing the final race of the year in detail, Hayden also commented, “I thought it might be possible to do a little better but I didn’t get the best start. The clutch was slipping a little bit down the first couple of straights and I lost some positions. After that I managed to pull myself up again and from there it was a case of doing my best to try and bridge the gap to Colin (Edwards).”

“The bike was working quite well but every time I closed a tenth or two he had an answer and pulled it back out. Towards the end I had some issues in a couple of left-handers and my pace dropped too much. Anyway, I had an enjoyable race, going back and forth with a few guys at the beginning especially.”

Tags:
MotoGP, 2009, GP GENERALI DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA, Nicky Hayden, Ducati Marlboro Team

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