MotoGP: Nicky Hayden Improves In Sepang

Paul Carruthers | February 5, 2014

Nicky Hayden lopped over a second off his lap time during the second day of MotoGP testing at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, the 2006 World Champion working hard on the electronics package of his new Drive M7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R production racer.

When all was said and done on day two, Hayden had completed 39 laps – the best of which was a 2:02.287. That’s 1.032 seconds faster than yesterday’s first day on the new bike. It’s also faster than the 2:02.782 he did on the factory Ducati last year in the Malaysian Grand Prix and faster than the 2:02.900 that he qualified with for the October race.

Unfortunately, everyone else is also going faster and that meant that Hayden was 14th at the end of day two. Still, he was the best of the new Honda RCV1000Rs and second only to NGM Forward Racing Yamaha’s Aleix Espargaro in the “Open” bike class.

“I am happy because we have improved the lap time quite significantly from yesterday although the pace in general has been quicker,” Hayden said in a team release. “Once again we focused our work on the electronics and the engine braking, which gave us a bit more in corner entry. You could say that I am still adapting myself because I have spent a long time on a completely different kind of bike and now I have to readjust my riding style – the way I am braking and entering the corner. We are happy with the progress we made today but the gap to the top is still too big so we have to keep pushing to improve. We still have a lot of things to test from a chassis point of view as well as the electronics and also I need to fully adapt to this Honda.”

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America’s Daily Motorcycle News Source.