Nicky Hayden reluctantly admitted he would pray for a wet Australian GP on Sunday after he topped the timesheets in a rain-soaked second practice session at Phillip Island today.
The American was languishing down in 11th place in this morning’s dry session as he had grip problems with his Michelin rear tyres.
The Kentucky rider clocked a best time of 1.38.820 in the rain to beat Andrea Dovizioso by a massive 0.7s. Hayden was only 7.6s quicker in the dry as he continued his impressive wet weather form after he scored his first rostrum in 15 months with second at a storm-hit Indianapolis race.
“This morning in the dry it wasn’t very good and I couldn’t get any grip. It was spinning a lot and I couldn’t find anything with any edge grip. I’m not sure if it is tyres or set-up because I had problems when we tested here in February it was basically the same situation with quite a lot of temperature and not a lot of traction, “Hayden told MCN.
Hayden was much more content in the rain and he added: “It wasn’t great at the start and I switched bikes that hard more of a set-up that I had been using in the wet recently and immediately I was going pretty good.
"I think our rain tyre is real good and when the bike is working in the rain it is not easy, but you can make up so much time when you’re confident and you can be aggressive. Sometimes riding in the rain can be completely miserable, but right now it is fun to be riding in the rain.”
And given his struggle in the rain, Hayden said he wouldn’t be disappointed if Sunday’s race was held in the wet.
“Right now I’d certainly prefer rain. I don’t really want to say that because most guys that pray for rain aren’t any good in the dry, but honestly looking at the times I wouldn’t be complaining. I apologise to the fans but if it is like that on Sunday I won’t be unhappy. I can’t lie when I’m eleventh in the dry saying I want it to clear up, “added Hayden.