Nicky Hayden trying to stay positive

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Nicky Hayden is adamant he will not let his current Ducati struggles get him down as the American desperately tries to put a positive slant on a nightmare start to 2009.

The 2006 world champion has yet to score a top ten finish on board the factory GP9, with his latest poor showing coming in last weekend’s French GP in Le Mans when he finished 12th.

That equalled his best result scored on his Ducati debut in the season’s opening round in Qatar.

Hayden’s problems have already seen Ducati bring in new crew chief Juan Martinez to help the Kentucky rider but he has not yet come close to replicating the performances of Aussie team-mate Casey Stoner in 2009.

But Hayden is refusing to let his poor run of form get him too deflated as he prepares for Ducati’s home race in Mugello on May 31.

“Sometimes I think I’m making progress and then I’ll take a big step back. It’s a long season and I don’t want to get too down. It is frustrating right now but hopefully I can find a direction I like.

"I can’t really get a direction that makes the bike a little bit better. And if I do it makes something else worse. Like Casey is showing though, the bike has the potential, so I’ve got to figure it out.

"The bike can do it so I’ve got to be positive and it’s not impossible.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt