Nicky Hayden expects wait for Ducati front-end mods

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Nicky Hayden says he’s got no idea when he will get his chance to race new front-end parts that proved a big breakthrough for Valentino Rossi in Brno last weekend.

A vague front-end feeling and an understeer issue have been long-term complaints for Rossi and Hayden throughout the 2011 MotoGP campaign.

Yet a revised front-end setting that Rossi raced to sixth place in the Czech Republic last weekend turned out to be a big improvement, with the Italian’s crew chief Jerry Burgess hailing the change as the biggest breakthrough since Rossi first rode the Desmosedici last November in Valencia.

The modifications, which included changes to the front axle that gave Rossi more flex at the bottom of the forks, were fitted to Hayden’s GP11.1 machine during the Brno MotoGP test session earlier this week.

And while the American was able to immediately feel the big improvement in front-end performance, his bike won’t run the revised set-up in Indianapolis next weekend, He told MCN: “I got it for a couple of hours and it was a nice little step but we don’t have a lot of parts and I had to give it back and I probably won’t get it back for a while.

"It was better for steering and it helped feel the front tyre a bit better. It just takes time to make the parts and I probably won’t get it for a while, but it was a nice help and clearly it is a better way.”

For more of the front-end changes to Rossi’s bike, see this week’s issue of MCN.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt