Indy MotoGP: Freak problem hampers Nicky Hayden

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Nicky Hayden’s hopes of maintaining his 100 per cent podium record in the Indianapolis MotoGP race were thwarted by a freak incident.

Starting from the front row of the grid for the first time in his Ducati career, the 29-year-old held third place on the first lap before he quickly started to drop down the order.

Repsol Honda Dani Pedrosa relegated him down to fourth on the second lap and Jorge Lorenzo guided his factory Yamaha YZR-M1 by a lap later.

And it was on the third lap that Hayden’s hopes of retaliating against the Spanish duo came to grief.

The 2006 world champion, who signed a new two-year deal with Ducati in Indianapolis, lost his left knee slider when he lost the front end at turn 12.

He faded to sixth and finished a massive 35 seconds behind eventual winner Pedrosa.

The Kentucky rider said: “I still can't believe what happened and I am so disappointed. I was being careful over the first few laps because in that heat the track was very greasy.

"I lost the front slightly on the third lap and caught my left knee on a drain cover on one of the kerbs, right where the knee slider attaches to the Velcro. There are so many left-hand corners here... from that point on I had to take it really steady, I couldn't push anywhere and finished up with a huge hole in my leathers.

"I am incredibly disappointed because we had to the pace to put in a performance today. I'm quite confident I could have fought for the podium. I was right there being fifth on Friday and third on Saturday.

"We were in a position we could have fought for the podium and it's unfortunate. Home race and something stupid like this happens.

"I haven't had this problem happen to me since I've been with Alpinestars. If it would have been the right side, maybe I could have been okay but at this level you can't have anything go wrong.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt