Estoril MotoGP: Nicky Hayden thrilled with second

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Nicky Hayden was thrilled to find out he’d start second on the grid for tomorrow’s Estoril MotoGP race after he suffered a heavy crash in treacherous conditions morning.

With grid positions decided by combined practice times after storms forced this afternoon’s qualifying session to be cancelled, Hayden found himself second behind new world champion Jorge Lorenzo.

The factory Ducati rider walked away from a heavy spill at turn two this morning and he said: “I’ll take a front row anyway I can get it. I’m not going to ask questions or apologise but I’ll take it.

“Yesterday the bike felt good in the rain and this morning we had an early crash. The other bike had a different set-up and I didn’t like it as much with the rear and I couldn’t go so fast. But we know the bike is really good in the rain and we’ve been up front all weekend.

“We’ve ridden a lot this weekend in the wet so at least we know what to expect. And we’d have an idea of what to do with the setting in the dry. It will be unpredictable tomorrow though if it is dry or even wet. I’m looking forward to it.

“The championship is over so it might be nice to have something different and shake it up a little bit.”

Explaining his high speed tumble when he lost the rear in heavy rain this morning, the 29-year-old added: “Turn two is a little bit downhill and as you creep down in there you wait for the suspension to load back up on the rear and mine never did. It just came around.

“That corner was slick yesterday and I knew it and I’d just started to push. I was off the gas so there was not a lot I did wrong. It went so quick that there was not a lot I could do.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt