MotoGP: Nicky Hayden happy with new Michelin strategy

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Former world champion Nicky Hayden has backed Michelin's aggressive development of a new 16-inch rear tyre ahead of the 2008 MotoGP campaign.

The factory Honda rider topped the timesheets at this week's IRTA test session in Jerez and spent a lot of time continuing to put in development miles on a new 16-inch rear tyre.

Michelin is developing the 16-inch rear in a bid to bid to strike back at Bridgestone in 2008,  and Hayden said it was a direction well worth pursuing.

"I've been a big pusher on the 16 because for me immediately I liked it from the get-go. I like the feeling around the entry and it just rolls around the corner easy. Its got more edge grip. I was racing it at the end of the year in Sepang, Phillip Island and Valencia and I'm still pushing for it. For me it's the way to go."

Honda rookie Andrea Dovizioso is also hoping Hayden perseveres with the new profile.

The British-based Italian found his best feeling in Jerez with the 16-inch tyre and he said: "I hope Nicky keeps pushing for it because I really like it. It helps me a lot with the chatter I've been having. I still have it, but the 16-inch rear is lighter and this helps with the hopping going into the corner."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt