Former world MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden has admitted he can’t afford to make a sluggish start to next season as he looks to put a nightmare 2007 behind him.
The Kentucky rider, currently recuperating from a right shoulder operation, only scored three podiums in his title defence campaign.
His season was also blighted with bad luck as he admitted recently that he gave up any hopes of retaining his crown just five races into a tough MotoGP season.
The Repsol Honda rider, who is out of contract at the end of next season, knows it is crucial he makes a good start to the new campaign, which gets underway under floodlights at night in Qatar on March 9, 2008.
Nicky Hayden told MCN: “Sure it was a tough season but I’m not making any excuses and the bottom line is nothing really went right. Even times when I had the speed something went wrong.
“Nothing rolled so hopefully we’ll come out of the gate a lot stronger next year. I definitely learned some stuff this year with bike in changing my style and how to work with the team.
“I guess sometimes the hard years are where you learn a lot, good or bad. But I’ve got to come out a lot stronger next year.
“Sometimes I was still able to man up last season and I feel we were a lot closer at the end of the year than we were at the beginning.”