Nicky Hayden in dark on RCV1000R upgrades

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Nicky Hayden has admitted he has no idea when his underpowered production Honda RCV1000R machine will be given a performance upgrade in 2014.

Hayden’s Spanish-based Aspar squad recently admitted the new Open class project will not be given an upgrade until the first European race at Jerez next month at the earliest.

But 2006 world champion Hayden said he has no idea when HRC will be rolling out new parts after the popular American had a tough start to 2014.

The RCV1000R doesn’t feature pneumatic valve technology like the factory spec RC213V machines ridden by Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa and the new project has been badly hampered by a lack of acceleration and top speed.

During last weekend’s Circuit of the Americas clash in Texas, Hayden’s RCV1000R was only 21st fastest though the speed traps on a track with the longest straight on the 18-race calendar.

Hayden’s best weekend speed was a sluggish 198.58mph. That was a massive gap of close to 14mph slower than Pol Espargaro’s Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine, which headed the speed figures at just over 212mph.

The best weekend speed by the RCV1000R was set by Hayden’s Japanese teammate Hiroshi Aoyama, but he was still 10mph slower then current Moto2 world champion Espargaro.

Asked by MCN in Texas if he had been informed when the RCV1000R might be upgraded, Hayden said: “They have been pretty quiet on it. There are a lot of rumours but we haven’t seen anything and there is no word on when it will happen.”

He then told MCN that improved acceleration performance required more than just one or two horsepower.

Hayden, who finished 11th at COTA, added: “Power can come from different areas but two or three horsepower will not make a big difference. We need a real step to be competitive and to get the bike we thought we were getting.

“In terms of numbers I can’t really say but in terms of acceleration it is not a couple of horsepower that we need. The big thing is accelerating out of low gear, slow corners which we had in Texas. Top speed is a problem although at some tracks it is not really an issue.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt