Nicky Hayden cautious after Sepang test

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Nicky Hayden has played down hopes he could emerge as a regular podium contender in 2010 after his impressive top three finish in the recent Sepang MotoGP test in Malaysia.

The American gave his pre-season morale a major boost finishing just 0.5s away from dominant Italian Valentino Rossi and less than 0.2s adrift of factory Ducati team-mate Casey Stoner in the Far East.

But the 2006 world champion, who is poised for his second season in Ducati’s factory team, insists he isn’t getting carried away.

Hayden had a tough debut campaign with Ducati, but after a torrid start only finished outside of the top ten in three of the final ten races of 2009.

Reflecting on his Sepang performance he told MCN: “I’m going to stay calm and not get too carried away and try and be there when it counts.

“It’s a lot better to be 0.4 off than 2.4 off and it made for a smoother flight home. But it really doesn’t mean anything yet.

“All I did was a couple of quick laps at a test. In the whole grand scheme of things it’s nothing great.

“Honestly I felt good on the bike at the last test, so hopefully we can start building up some momentum.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt