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Hayden within touching distance of podium once again

Hayden within touching distance of podium once again

It was a third fourth place in a row for the Ducati Marlboro rider at the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France.

Nicky Hayden’s consistent start to the season continued on Sunday at Le Mans, where the Ducati Marlboro rider finished in fourth position – a result he has produced in each of the three rounds of the 2010 season so far.

The American may feel that he continues to be eluded by the podium, but he explained that he was pleased to at least maintain his top-four run after the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France had not run a very smooth course for him up until the race on Sunday.

“It would be nice to get up on that podium but I didn’t expect to be there in this race,” he said in the attached video interview. “I struggled a lot this weekend and overall I can’t be too disappointed. Some of the sessions I was 11th or 12th and would only pull out a lap at the end that would make it look good, but consistently I haven’t been that fast this weekend.”

Hayden rode much of the race in fifth position, slowly gaining ground on Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso who were battling for third spot. He and Dovizioso both got past Pedrosa on the final lap, but Hayden was just unable to edge past the Italian and take that first podium of 2010.

“Early on (in the race) I felt like I was almost going backwards and was hoping I didn’t get swallowed up by the next group, but I kept pushing and I saw the group in front coming back a bit and I did my best lap of the race on lap 20,” he analysed. “I was able to close up on them but once I got there I’d used up my tyres a bit and couldn’t do much with them. Me and Dani went back and forth a bit and he made a little mistake, but those guys weren’t going to make it easy on me!”

Taking some big positives from another strong display, Hayden expressed his comfort with the Desmosedici GP10 and looked forward to what is going to be a hectic period in the calendar.

“I feel good with the bike and the team and it’s all going smoothly, so now the season really starts,” he said. “Things are about to get really busy – we’re looking forward to it and hopefully we can stay up here. Mugello will be an awesome weekend in front of the Ducati fans and hopefully we can be up front. Last year was a nightmare to be so slow there, but hopefully that won’t be the case! We’re looking forward to Mugello!”

MotoGP, 2010, MONSTER ENERGY GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, Nicky Hayden, Ducati Team

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