Assen MotoGP: Nicky Hayden eyes new Ducati for Sachsenring

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Nicky Hayden is desperately trying to persuade Ducati to make his debut on the new GP11.1 machine at the forthcoming German MotoGP round at the Sachsenring next month.

The American was initially told he would have to wait to debut the radically revamped new Desmosedici until his home race at Laguna Seca on July 24.

But the 2006 world champion is now hopeful he can get at least one new GP11.1 in his garage for the Sachsenring race on July 17 after Valentino Rossi’s positive first outing on the new bike in Assen today.

Rossi was second quickest in wet conditions this morning on the new bike, which features the rear swingarm, suspension and subframe initially intended for the GP12 1000cc bike, due to debut next season.

Hayden said he was relieved to be getting the new bike at all, hinting to MCN that Ducati had not initially intended to give him the machine for the foreseeable future, if at all in 2011.

But Hayden, who was ninth quickest today running an updated carbon fibre chassis on his GP11, said: “I hope to get on one at Laguna but I’m pushing for Germany. The sooner the better and going to Laguna, which is my home race, I don’t want to go in there on a bike I haven’t ridden before.  Laguna is a very hard track in MotoGP on your best day when the bike is working good.

“There is so much up and down and blind corners and to have to learn a new bike is not ideal.  I’d rather get it at Sachsenring and get a feel for it and that would be a lot better. I’m grateful I’m getting it because when they first did it I wasn’t sure, but I’m pretty greedy. First I wasn’t sure when I would get the new bike, so this is even earlier than the first plan.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt