Hayden Just off Front Row

Cycle News Staff | September 18, 2010

Nicky Hayden didn’t find the sort of magic set-up that put teammate Casey Stoner on pole for the Aragon Grand Prix.Stoner made a number of changes, mostly with the weight distribution, that gave him the front end feel he’s been seeking all year. Hayden qualified fourth, just off the front row, on a set-up that was closer to what Stoner was moving to than what he’d been using.Hayden was on a flyer that might have put him on pole, or at least the front row-he was on pole pace through the first two splits-when the third split let him down. That one section of track was the difference between and front and second row start.”I haven’t had a bad weekend so far,” Hayden said. “The bike is working good. The team is doing a good job. We constantly got a little faster in each session. Obviously, front row would’ve been nicer. We were right there, but I didn’t quite nail T3 like I would’ve liked and starting fourth.”So, I’m looking forward to tomorrow. It’s one thing riding around here new track by yourself in practice, but it’ll be interesting to see how it feels in the race.Hayden believes that Stoner’s new set-up is “a little bit more in the direction my bike is anyway, as far as weight and how the geometry is. It’s a closer way to my bike anyway, but no, I haven’t tried that set-up. So we’ll see how the race goes. Looks like he might have found something. Maybe I need to go more in that direction.”