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Hayden: "It’s a big year for me"

 Hayden: "It’s a big year for me"

The 2012 season kick off was in full swing at the Wrooom event at Madonna di Campiglio on Tuesday, where Nicky Hayden and team-mate Valentino Rossi were present to discuss the upcoming MotoGP campaign.

The event is the fourth for the American since joining Ducati in 2009, and while usually an enthusiastic participant in the events of the week—Hayden landed on the podium in both ice races last year—his participation in the action will be limited to spectating.

Hayden spoke to about his recovery since breaking his scapula two weeks ago, stating: "I'm better now, the sling is off and I can start rehab. The goal is to ride in Malaysia -- I missed Valencia and I don't want to miss another test."

Remaining positive following the difficulties the team faced throughout the 2011 season, Hayden continued: "2011 didn’t go as we hoped; we tried everything, but never got the results we deserved. I felt we were close at the end of the year, but we weren’t able to make it happen. Regardless, we learned a lot. This year the goal is to make the bike work in the way we want so we can be more consistent in every race."

Reflecting on his personal goals for the season, the 30 year admitted to feeling some pressure. "It’s a big year for me; it’s the first year back on 1000cc bikes, with new rules and new bikes so I need to have a good season and show my potential, in some ways there is a lot of pressure but I’m looking forward to this season and to go for it."

In an earlier press conference, Hayden shared his opinion on the CRTs that will be joining the MotoGP grid this year. "I'm in favour of CRT, more bikes, riders and teams on the grid would be great. In Moto2 the racing is great, I'm optimistic about it." While staying with a factory motorcycle, his ride changes next year as well with a return to 1000cc machines. Hayden has already ridden the GP12 and stated the engine is very strong, though technology has changed since he last piloted a MotoGP liter bike in 2006, his Championship winning season.

"They'll have more power off the bottom and top speeds will be higher, but the electronics have changed so much since 2006, people who think those bikes are going to be backing in and spinning and smoking the tires – that’s over, that’s not going to happen with these bikes. The biggest thing will be the wheelie and keeping the bike down, especially on tracks where the gearing is a lot shorter. The bikes will be lighter, and have a couple other things that should suit me," he concluded.

MotoGP, 2012

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