“Right now we're positive”
Nicky Hayden put in a typically determined day's work at Phillip Island today, riding an amazing 107 laps of the high-speed Australian circuit aboard his Repsol Honda RC212V.
Once again the American tried both Honda's latest pneumatic-valve
engine and the conventional spring engine, focusing on the conventional engine in the afternoon. Fastest at Sepang last week with qualifying tyres, the 2006 MotoGP World Champion only used race tyres today, making plenty of progress in excellent weather conditions with ambient temperature at 21 degrees and track temperature reaching 40 degrees.
“This is a completely different track to Sepang so we needed to reconfirm what we learned last week. That's been the plan today, so we've been using reference tyres, we've not been doing any tyre testing so far, mainly just checking settings. This morning we checked both engines because the team needs data with the pneumatic valve engine too. The track seems to be in great shape and the weather's good, so we've gotten a lot done”, said Hayden. “So far preseason is going well for us but nothing really matters till we get to that first race. I'm just working as hard as I can with the team so I can make the most of the opportunities and hopefully when we get to that race we'll be ready to make some noise. Michelin is definitely working hard and we've seen some progress. Right now we're positive.”
Tomorrow he will continue working on chassis and suspension settings and he will commence tyre testing – Phillip Island is a particularly challenging racetrack for tyres.
Hayden is currently Repsol Honda's sole rider on track. His team-mate Dani Pedrosa is in Europe recuperating from an operation to fix the broken hand he suffered in Malaysia last week.