Hayden remaining positive ahead of Turkey

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Reigning world champion Nicky Hayden is refusing to let his bitterly disappointing start to the defence of his MotoGP crown dent his morale as he prepares for this weekend’s Turkish GP in Istanbul.

Hayden has endured a miserable start to the new 800cc premier class era and is yet to register a top six finish in his two appearances on Honda’s struggling factory RC212V.

Hayden was seventh in last month’s Spanish GP at Jerez, which came hot on the heels of a nightmare 800 race debut in the season’s opening clash in Qatar when he slumped to eighth.

The 25-year-old Kentucky rider though is remaining upbeat despite his lacklustre start and speaking exclusively to MCN, Hayden said: “I know I’m in deep and if anything it just makes you want to get back on top all that much more.

“I’m out there all day wet and cold trying to find something. It’s not hard to keep positive though the results haven’t been good.”

Hayden said his Spanish GP result perfectly highlighted his problems with Honda’s new V4, as he dropped back from a brilliant start that left him fourth in the early stages.

“Without the power I did what Carlos (Checa) did and wore the front tyre too quickly trying to use the corner speed to make the lap time, “said Hayden, who reiterated his frustration at being unable to retaliate as he slipped down the field in Spain.

“I tried so hard in Jerez to get up there in the beginning, took some chances but I just used up my tyres a lot. When those guys came past it was painful. I was just laying there bleeding and I had nothing to fight with.”

Hayden returns to action in Istanbul this weekend hoping to fire some life into his season on a track where he holds a 100 per cent podium record.

He said: “I’ve been on the podium twice and I like that track. I hope to go better there. It’s not a track where a lot of those guys have grown up on and while I know it won’t make a big difference I’m sure it will help a little.”

Hayden said he was also hoping to arrive for round three of the 2007 series with some new performance parts from Honda to test after the three-week Easter break.

“I’m hoping for something. That turn three at Turkey is pretty much uphill and you definitely need horsepower.

“Like Carlos said recently, its one thing to do a lap time but for a race situation we need it, “added the former American superbike champion.

Read more from Repsol Honda rider Hayden in the April 18 issue of MCN.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt