Nicky Hayden lacking rear confidence

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American Nicky Hayden reckons he must adapt to the aggressive pumping from the rear of Ducati’s new factory GP9 as the start of the 2009 MotoGP campaign approaches.

One of the biggest issues the 2006 world champion has struggled to cope with is Ducati’s notorious rear pumping problem, triggered under hard acceleration.

The issue has been improved with Ducati’s gamble on an exotic carbon fibre chassis, but Hayden struggled with the issue during recent testing at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia when he could only finish 11th quickest.

“The bike is unpredictable so it’s hard to get down to where I need to be. On the exit of the corners I’m still having some problems with stability and some issues with the pumping.

"Everywhere else it is really stable like on the brakes and in the fast corners but on the exit is when it really breaks loose, “said the former Repsol Honda rider.

The pumping problem was exaggerated by Hayden’s struggle to gel with the hard compound Bridgestone rear tyre.

He said: “It makes the pumping worse on the exit because it breaks away and tries to hook and transfers to the front and gets unpredictable and it is hard to get in a rhythm. I need to figure that tyre out.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt