Assen MotoGP: Nicky Hayden cruelly denied podium

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Nicky Hayden saw his hopes of claiming his first podium in nearly a year cruelly snatched away in Assen after he ran out of fuel just metres from the finish line while he held a safe third.

The American started the last lap over three seconds clear of compatriot Colin Edwards, but as he exited the final chicane he Honda RC212V ran out of fuel, allowing Edwards to charge through and gain some revenge for a last corner incident between the pair in 2006.

Edwards crashed out with his first win beckoning two years ago, gifting Hayden the win. Hayden rolled over the line at walking pace to at least claim fourth, but an electronics failure cost him on his second appearance on the pneumatic valve Honda.

A failure meant Hayden’s fuel consumption wasn’t accurately monitored during the 26-lap race. Normally an auto lean system kicks in to ensure Hayden is only given enough power to make sure he finishes the race.

Hayden said: “Man, we had a pretty good race. Unfortunately this game can be cruel sometimes. To be so close to a really good result is tough, but we still finished, we made it across the line and still got some good points out of the deal, but it would’ve been nice to stand on the podium.

“The team certainly deserved it, they’ve worked really hard this weekend. On the sighting lap I knew something was wrong. It’s been a little bit frustrating because she hasn’t run right off the bottom since I got here, especially out of slow corners.

“They’ve been changing stuff and they thought they had it fixed but something was wrong. I had a dash light come on at the start of the race, though it went off after the start. She finally quit right before the finish line. It’s how it goes, Iguess me and Colin are even now, he gave me one here a couple of years ago and I gave him a podium today.

“There at the end I was trying to make a push on Dani, I wanted to keep the pressure on him, he was coming back to me a bit. I was pushing, then on the last lap I thought ‘oh no, we’re in trouble’.

“Nonetheless the bike is working good, now they’ve got a week and a half to hopefully sort it out in Japan and we can keep moving on.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt