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Hayden to ride 1909 Indian at Indy!
Wednesday, 19th March 2008
2006 MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden will visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time on Monday April 7 - when he will ride a restored Indian motorcycle, which competed in the first motorised race at Indianapolis on August 14, 1909, around the new road course.
It will be the first lap by a motorcycle around the new 16-turn, 2.620-mile circuit, which incorporates part of the famed oval and will host the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Sunday, September 14.
After the historic first lap on the Indian, Hayden will ride a Honda production bike around the new course, before having his photo taken on the famous Yard of Bricks and speaking with the media.
Hayden: You can't beat wild weekend.
Saturday, 22nd March 2008
After a frustrating time in Qatar, Nicky Hayden is looking forward to getting back up front in the MotoGP fight when the series returns to Europe, at Jerez, next weekend.
Buoyed by his most recent appearance at the Spanish circuit, where he topped last-month's pre-season test with a stunning 1min 38.848secs lap, the American will run the 2008 RC212V with a revised chassis, and hopes that he can give the sport's most vocal audience the result it has come to expect from the Repsol Honda team.
The operation has a rich history of success at Jerez, with six wins recorded by Mick Doohan, Alex Crivillé and Valentino Rossi(2002 and 2003) up to 2003, while Hayden's current team-mate, Dani Pedrosa, qualified on pole position and finished the 2007 race a close second.
Hayden claimed a Spanish GP podium finish in 2006, his title-wining year, and hopes to bounce back from a 'determined' tenth place finish in Qatar with a return to the top three. Like his team-mate, Hayden loves the Spanish GP because it's one of the most atmospheric races on the MotoGP calendar, with a noisy and knowledgeable crowd guaranteed.
"The atmosphere is pretty cool," he confirmed, "You come into the stadium section [the Nieto and Peluqui turns] on Sunday morning and it's wild. Nowadays, you can design a racetrack on the computer, you can do whatever you want – make that, generate this, design that, use every trick in the book - but, if the place don't have that atmosphere, money can't buy that. Even if a racetrack gives tickets away, you can't guarantee the atmosphere you get at Jerez. There's explosions going off, it's just wild and that's what makes it so good."
Jerez also offers a great challenge for riders and engineers, with an interesting variety of corners to try and adapt the bike to. Excellent machine balance is vital to allow riders to maintain high corner speed through the many long turns, the real secret to a quick Jerez lap, as the fastest corners on the track – at Crivillé and Ferrari– lead into the slowest, at the final hairpin which has witnessed many a thrilling last-lap duel.
“Qatar wasn't a great weekend for us, but we'll be working hard to move on from that at Jerez," the American said, "Our bike should work good at Jerez and, in the past, the Michelin tyres have worked really good there too.
"I think it's a cool track, but it's not a top-speed track. I like tracks where you've got to put sections together, and Jerez all flows together pretty good. From a riding point of view, you definitely need edge grip for all the long corners and you need a bike that steers good in those long corners. It's a good track and one of my favourites - but it's the atmosphere that really makes it. If you haven't been there, you need to go.”