Jerez MotoGP: Nicky Hayden accepts 2007 Honda choice was mistake

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American Nicky Hayden has conceded that his gamble to race Honda’s 2007 factory RC212V in the season’s opening race backfired. 

The 2006 premier class world champion slumped to 10th place under Qatar’s floodlights, while Repsol team-mate Dani Pedrosa claimed third as he opted to run Honda’s latest spec machine.

Nicky Hayden, who will use a 2008 Honda RC212V in this weekend’s first European clash of the season in Jerez, admitted his choice to ride the old bike was a mistake, but denied he had been pressured by HRC management into riding last year’s V4.

Hayden said: “It’s old news and it was a team decision. Things happen in racing that I can’t talk about and it happens.

“For whatever reason that was the choice we made. You can put it on me if you want but for whatever reason that was the way we ended up going.

“It probably wasn’t a great decision but at the time it was what the team felt was best. 

“I wasn’t required to ride the old bike but they showed up and worked hard to get them there and they wanted to try them.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt