Nicky Hayden had his worst qualifying performance of a difficult season today at the Circuit van Drenthe in Assen, the Drive M7 Aspar Honda team rider ending a tricky day in iffy conditions all the way back in 22nd. It was also the first time this year that the 2006 MotoGP World Champion was out-qualified by his teammate Hiroshi Aoyama.
Hayden’s best lap was a 1:35.792 in the Q1 session, not enough to put him in Q2 and a time that left him with what will be an eighth-row start in tomorrow’s Dutch TT – the worst of his GP career.
“It wasn’t an easy session for us and it’s a shame because we improved a little in the last free practice, getting down to 1:35.9 on used tires,” a disappointed Hayden said. “I improved my time in qualifying, but made some mistakes. The bike didn’t perform 100 percent, but neither did I so there are no excuses – I have to take responsibility for today. I know I can do a lot better so tomorrow I will work hard to make sure that’s the case.
“Today is over; we have to start thinking about the race now and how we can improve. We’ll try to get the bike turning a little better and hopefully get a bit more out of the acceleration to keep the bike on the right line from corner to corner.”
Tomorrow’s Dutch TT will start at 5 a.m. Pacific time, 8 a.m. Eastern.