Jerez MotoGP: Nicky Hayden hoping for change in fortune

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American Nicky Hayden is hoping some good fortune will finally go his way in this weekend’s Spanish GP at Jerez after a nightmare start to his factory Ducati career.

The 2006 world champion had to contend with a spectacular qualifying crash and a series of technical glitches on his way to 12th place in the season’s opening race in Qatar.

And his Japanese GP at the Twin Ring Motegi last weekend last all of three corners before he was taken out by home favourite Yuki Takahashi.

He is now hoping that the Jerez race will provide a turning point to get his season going.

“That would kind of be nice. I just got to go in there and start again. In some ways I felt like in Japan we were kind of getting close to taking a step forward.

"I guess that’s positive, because in Qatar I felt like I was making a step backwards the whole time. But last weekend I felt more comfortable.”

Hayden said the Motegi incident, which aggravated back injuries he suffered in a massive 130mph high-side in Qatar, had cost him precious track time in full race conditions as he tries to master the Ducati GP9.

“In the race in Qatar I learned a lot and I could have done with 24 laps in race conditions in Japan to gather more data and learn stuff.

"Now I just got even farther behind going to Jerez, so that’s tough. But we move onto Jerez and try and put that behind me.

"I can’t dwell on this,“ said the Kentucky rider, who did at least find improvement during a tough Japanese GP weekend.

He added: “As far as communication and stuff we talked after Qatar about things that I didn’t understand and didn’t’ feel comfortable with.

"We sat down there just talking about different systems and how they do things, and it felt better.

"We worked smoother in the pits and didn’t have all the little problems we had in Qatar, so that was actually quite positive.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt