Ducati good enough to win, says Nicky Hayden

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Former world champion Nicky Hayden believes Ducati’s factory GP10 is good enough to win races even though it has yet to triumph in 2010.

Aussie Casey Stoner told MCN after last weekend’s US MotoGP race at Laguna Seca that he was riding better than ever but was still unable to seriously threaten Jorge Lorenzo’s domination of this year’s premier class series.

After claiming his best result of the season with second in California, the 24-year-old said: “We’re trying a lot of things. Everybody’s working hard at Ducati, everyone’s working hard on the team.

"And I myself am working hard as I can and we just can’t seem to get much more than where we are.

"We’re just going to have to see if we can come up with more of a solution and make the bike a little easier to ride, but we’ve got a long way to go for that.”

Hayden though believes the Ducati is a package capable of winning races and during a special press conference ahead of next month’s Indianapolis MotoGP on August 29.

The 2006 world champion, who will be joined by Valentino Rossi at Ducati in 2011, said: “I know Casey and he’s a good rider. He doesn’t leave much out there. So I’m sure if he thinks the bike needs to improve, I hope we can improve it.

"But I think we have a good enough package to be winning races. Casey proved in Qatar, if he didn’t crash there, he wins that race quite easily. But that being said, we want to improve. We’ve seen a lot of the other teams making steps.

"Honda seems to have made a big step from the start of the season. So we need to do the same. If you’re not improving, somebody else is.

"Now they’re focusing on next year and down the road. I’m sure we’ll have some setup options and some ideas to test at the Brno test that we haven’t tried yet. But do I expect some radical new parts? No.”

Hayden said he had discussed details of the forthcoming Brno test on August 16 with Ducati in a meeting after his battling fifth place at Laguna Seca on Sunday.

Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha all plan to roll out several new parts for the remainder of 2010 in Brno while also experimenting with some early prototype 2011 material.

Hayden said: “We had a brief discussion about it Sunday night in the post-race meeting after Laguna. But I don’t think it’s nothing major.

"There are a few things, just some setup options that we haven’t really had time to try the last couple races. But I don’t expect anything major. I’ll find out more this week when the engineers get back to Bologna.

"It’s been a busy little stretch for these guys, so they can all get back to the engineers at the shop and find out where our next step’s going to be.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt