Indianapolis MotoGP: Nicky Hayden just misses front row

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Home favourite Nicky Hayden was denied a front row start for tomorrow’s Indianapolis MotoGP debut by just 0.094s.

The Repsol Honda rider will start the 28-lap race, just three hours from his home in Kentucky, from fourth place having been denied by Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo.

Hayden, who is still riding in considerable pain from the cracked right heel he suffered in a Supermoto incident back on August 1, said: ”That was nearly the front row but the second row ain’t a bad spot. I feel this is the best race pace I’ve had in a while; a few times when I’ve qualified good this year it’s just been one lap with a qualifier.

"I enjoyed today, even this morning in the damp. Yesterday in the heavy rain, man, I was hydroplaning everywhere, it wasn’t any fun. I had a lot more fun today, the bike was working a lot better, we made some geometry tweaks to make it feel better and I was able to be more consistent.

"The bike certainly felt pretty good and the Michelin tyres felt pretty good. For the race it’s surely looking wet. It would be awesome to catch a break and get in a dry race, because I feel this is the best race package I’ve had in a while.

"If it’s dry we’ve got an idea on tyres. If it’s wet, my set-up yesterday wasn’t working real good. If it’s heavy, heavy rain we need to do something different. It would’ve been nice to be on the front row, we could certainly use a bit of a boost because my guys are working real hard and I’ve got a lot of support here: friends, family and fans. We’ll see what happens tomorrow, try to have a bit of fun, see how it goes.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt