Hayden suggests return to carbon frame Ducati

1 of 1

Factory Ducati rider Nicky Hayden has suggested that a return to the carbon fibre frame tested by the Italian outfit back in 2011, before it was scrapped at the urging of Valentino Rossi, might be what Ducati need to consider to help reverse their fortunes.

Hayden only rode the bike once in late 2011, before being ruled out of further testing at Valencia due to a broken hand in the final round of the season at the Spanish circuit.

“The carbon frame had a lot of potential, and it was a shame that we never got to test it again. I only tested it last-minute, after Valentino broke his finger in Japan, but I really went fast and had a good feeling, with much less understeer, before never riding it again.”

“We still talk a lot about that frame, and why we never tested it again, especially when we go to Jerez. I never got close again to the same lap time that I set on that test, and it’s really frustrating. Often, we test stuff again that we’ve tested before and hasn’t worked, but I’ve asked for it back and they’ve said no.”

Hayden claims that at the one-day test in Jerez where he rode the bike, he managed a 1’38.1 lap, a whole 1.5 seconds faster than his qualifying time from the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez earlier this year.

Hayden previously told MCN that he didn’t believe that the material of the frame was the source of the current GP bike’s chronic understeer problems.

The American was keen to point out that the small manufacturer has traditionally succeeded in all aspects of racing by blazing their own path than attempting to copy their Japanese rivals, and that a return to innovation may be what is needed.

For all the round-up and reaction to this weekend’s British Grand Prix, check out the September 4th issue of MCN.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer