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Jerez MotoGP: Nicky Hayden back on 2008 Honda

Published: 27 March 2008

Former MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden has scrapped Honda’s 2007 factory RC212V and will contest this weekend’s Spanish MotoGP on the latest V4 machine.

Hayden made a dismal start to 2008 when he finished 10th in Qatar having opted to race a complete 2007 spec machine for the season’s opening clash.

With Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa third in Qatar on the latest spec factory RC212V, Nicky Hayden has now reverted back to the current machine for Jerez, which features a 2007 motor housed in a 2008 chassis.

Hayden said: “We got plenty of ’08 stuff here for the weekend and that’s a good thing.”

The American has also got Honda’s new chassis, which Spaniard Pedrosa used for the first time in Qatar.

This is designed to alleviate some of the front-end handling issues that hindered Hayden during testing.

And he said: “I got one (chassis) here to try, one as of now and maybe one more coming.”

Asked where it was different Hayden said: “In the steering head – something up front. I’m not exactly sure where.

“But once we put the standard engine in the ‘08 chassis designed for the pneumatic valves we had a lot of problems on the front because the weight is quite a lot different between the two engines.

“Not just the mount but the pneumatic valve engine had a lot more weight over the front and the way the airbox works changes the geometry and the balance quite a lot.”

Nicky Hayden confirmed he will test an improved version of Honda’s troubled pneumatic valve motor again after the Estoril MotoGP in Portugal next month, as was revealed by MCN three weeks ago.