Photography by Gold & Goose
Looks like we can add another American to the injured list as Marlboro Ducati’s Nicky Hayden showed up at the Spanish Grand Prix yesterday with his recently repaired right wrist swollen and sore, though he’s not quite sure how the injury was re-aggravated.
“It actually started in the middle of the night and from there it’s gotten a little bit worse,” Hayden said today.
Hayden received some Cortisone injections before the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas in Texas two weeks ago and it wasn’t too bad that weekend. But it didn’t get better after Austin and it took a turn for the worse on the flight over to Jerez.
“It was okay, certainly not ideal,” Hayden said in response to how it was doing after riding today. “I have quite a lot of swelling and some of pain in there, but I was able to ride and on the brakes I’ve got good strength. So I can brake hard, plenty hard enough, but it’s not real comfortable.”
Hayden finished 10th in today’s second free practice, but knows there’s room for improvement.
“The corners around here that you’ve got to be quick in [turns four, 11, and 12], especially the last two fast rights, if you’re slow in there it just ruins your lap time,” he said. “Through there I’m pushing the front a lot and can’t get the bike to turn. So I need to sort that out.”
The injured wrist is not going to help his cause.
“As I mentioned yesterday, it’s not like we can afford to have anything going against us,” Hayden said. “You know, I mean it’s just deal with it. It’s not fun, but it’s not going to change overnight. So, hopefully, tomorrow and getting closer to the race, getting more adrenaline will help too, especially in qualifying and the race. That little bit of extra adrenaline always seems to help ease the pain.”
Ducati team test rider Michele Pirro is racing this weekend while testing a new chassis and engine management settings.
“I’m not sure the exact details, but I know on Monday we’re testing some parts,” Hayden responded when asked when he would get to try the new chassis. “We’ll find out on Sunday for sure. It was encouraging to see him going well. We’ll see on Monday how it works for me.”
Would the wrist potentially prevent Hayden from participating?
“Yeah, well we’ll see,” Hayden said. “We’ll get through the race, obviously, but I’m sure on Monday it will be a pretty limited test schedule. We do have a couple of things that are really important to test, so hopefully we can get that done.”