Photography by Gold & Goose
Nicky Hayden didn’t leave the Sepang test completely happy after posting the 13th fastest time of the 27 riders who turned laps over the course of the three days in Malaysia, but at least there was improvement over the course of the test with his new Drive M7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R.
Hayden managed to drop another .773 of a second on the third and final day of testing at the Sepang International Circuit and for the first time of the test was less than two seconds off the times turned in by pacesetter Marc Marquez. Marquez was under the lap record today with his 1:59.533 while Hayden’s best was a 2:01.514.
“It has been an interesting few days here and we have made progress each day,” Hayden said. “Even so I was hoping to be further up the timesheets and to be a bit more competitive. Looking at the positives we have improved our lap times and our feeling for the bike, especially in corner entry. I know the team is working hard on the things that we know we need to improve and what we need to learn about this bike. We tried the new softer compound tire at the end of the day and it gave us a bit of help under acceleration. But the biggest improvements have been with the electronics and in corner entry. We clearly need a bit more power too, but the strong point of this Honda is that it handles well and it’s a smooth ride.”