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Hayden takes first Ducati podium of 2011

Hayden takes first Ducati podium of 2011

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) claimed third place on the rostrum at the Gran Premio bwin de España and secured the first Ducati podium of the 2011 MotoGP campaign.

After qualifying just outside of the top ten, the American managed to keep his composure in a race full of mishaps in difficult conditions. After a tough battle with fellow American Colin Edwards, the Ducati rider looked on course for a top five finish, until both of his fellow compatriots Edwards and Ben Spies failed to reach the chequered flag. This bumped the man from Kentucky up to third place behind Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa.

After a disappointing ninth place at the opening round of the series in Qatar, Hayden has now rocketed up the Championship standings into fourth place with 23 points, ahead of team mate Valentino Rossi.

“It was a really tough race,” admitted Hayden to “The hardest part was just to stay focused and make no mistakes, as there was zero room for error. Obviously in the rain the race is a lot longer, the track’s changing, the tyres are changing, but you have got to keep pushing.”

Hayden continued: “I would say the rain helped me out, in the dry I wouldn’t have been on the podium, but we’ll take it anyway. I want to say thanks to my team and to everyone who is helping me. Certainly it hasn’t been an easy start to the season, but we’ll enjoy this result. It was a good chunk of points and hopefully we can build on it.”

With the next race in four weeks at Estoril and a Test to follow the GP, Hayden concluded: “We’ve got a month off and it will be a big Test in Portugal, so we’ll just try to keep working and keep pushing. We’ve got a really good team and a good bike. We’ve just got a little something missing with the setting and I’m also not happy with me and the job I’ve done so far. I want to be on the rostrum every race and in the dry when it counts.”

MotoGP, 2011, GRAN PREMIO bwin DE ESPAÑA, Nicky Hayden, Ducati Team

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