Hayden stays top Ducati at Sepang

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

American Nicky Hayden finished as the top Ducati rider for the second day running at the Sepang MotoGP test in Malaysia.

Poor weather conditions again hampered testing, with heavy rain after midday saturating the circuit and prompting many teams and riders to call it quits until the third and final day of the shakedown.

Hayden focused on the electronics of his factory GP12 and was impressed by the results as he took the fifth fastest time overall with a best of 2m 01.748s after 18 laps, 0.463s behind pacesetter Ben Spies on the works Yamaha YZR M1.

Following recent shoulder surgery, Hayden has been able to up the ante this time at Sepang and is beginning to make good progress with the development of the bike.

“The weather hasn't been kind to us. With my condition, maybe I wasn't going to be able to do many more laps anyway, but we have a lot of stuff to try. It was definitely cooler today, with more rubber on the track, and we went faster,” he said.

“We made a couple of small steps and I would say today was the most competitive I've been all year. I like the changes to the electronics, especially at the first touch of the throttle. We talked about going out in the rain, but the risks seemed to outweigh the rewards. I look forward to tomorrow.

“Hopefully we can put together all the pieces we've learned and do some good lap times.”
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