Jerez MotoGP: Nicky Hayden happy with new Honda chassis

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Nicky Hayden said he enjoyed riding again today as he cast aside the bitter disappointment of his Qatar performance with the fourth fastest time in Jerez today.

The American was back on the 2008 RC212V machine after his disastrous gamble to ride the 2007 spec V4 backfired in the season’s opening race.

“I really like it,” said the Kentucky rider.

“It has a lot better feel on the front, which we’d lost with the old chassis. I actually enjoyed myself out there again.

“I liked the feel of the new chassis and it helped me from the beginning. I always felt this would be a good direction.

“I didn’t go a lot faster than I did a couple of weeks ago in testing here or in the test in November so we have still got a bit of work to do.”

Nicky Hayden posted a best time of 1:40.673 and his best laps were clocked on the RC212V using the latest spec chassis that Spanish team-mate Dani Pedrosa used to claim third in the first race in Qatar.

Hayden added: “This is a track we have tested at a lot so we were dialled in with tyres and suspension and we expected to be fast to be honest.

“I might have gone a bit faster because I made a couple of mistakes while trying to go faster but we will see what the guys have got tomorrow.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt