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Hayden announces return to form with Losail display

Hayden announces return to form with Losail display

The Ducati Marlboro rider finished fourth after a superb ride in Qatar, missing third place on the podium by only 0.011s.

Fourth in the opening race of the 2010 MotoGP World Championship served notice of Ducati Marlboro rider Nicky Hayden’s intentions for the forthcoming season, after he fought admirably throughout the race at the front of the field only to get beaten to third place on the finish line by Andrea Dovizioso.

Hayden was pipped across the line by a gap of just 0.011s by the Italian and was clearly gutted to have missed out on a season-opening podium finish when he reviewed the eventful race, which saw team-mate Casey Stoner crash out when leading early on.

“After qualifying in ninth I’d have taken fourth place in the race and been quite happy with it, but to have the bike working so well in the race and to get beat like that, it hurts!” admitted Hayden. “It would have been so great to start the season with at least a podium.”

“Nevertheless, we made a couple of little changes for the race which really helped the bike and I was able to ride how I wanted and push hard. It felt good to be up front, it wasn’t easy but I was pushing hard and it was achievable. I enjoyed the race, but it would be nice to have been up on the podium. I still think it’s a decent result to have gained, we have some good points and there is a long season to go. I’ll have plenty more opportunities so I’ll just have to come back and find that next bit.”

Hayden was encouraged by the level of his factory Desmosedici GP10 prototype, which he says is feeling great after round one.

He continued: “Our bike is good this year, I have no complaints. It sometimes takes me too long to get comfortable but this week we practiced and qualified in two days and it wasn’t until just before the race we made some small changes which gave me some better grip and just made the whole bike work better.”

“A big thanks to my team and everybody at Ducati as they have worked really hard to help me this winter, and we have made a lot of changes. It’s been a lot of work but I have enjoyed it and hopefully I can give them some results to repay them, and we can be up there every week.”

The American rider will now focus his energies on putting in another podium-challenging ride in Japan in just under two weeks’ time.

”Japan hasn’t been the greatest track for me over the last few years, so it’ll be hard but we’re going there to get our heads down and try to qualify well,” concluded Hayden.

MotoGP, 2010, COMMERCIALBANK GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, Nicky Hayden, Ducati Team

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