Nicky Hayden’s Drive M7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R showed up for the three-day test at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia much the same as it had left the test two weeks ago – down on power. That left Hayden to work on the rest of the package on the first day of the second Malaysian test – namely braking and corner entry.

At the end of the day he was ranked 10th on the timesheets, his 2:02.227 lap slower than his best from the previous test by .713 of a second on a racetrack that was green in the morning, but improving by the afternoon.

Always the optimist, Hayden found solace in the fact that he was closer to the top than he was at the previous test.

“The gap to the top is reducing so that is positive,” Hayden said in a team release after turning in 55 laps on day one. “This morning we lost a little bit of time due to some technical problems which gave us a little more work than we expected. The bike is basically the same as the one we had here for the first test. We have worked on the set up, especially on the front fork to try and improve the stability of the bike under braking. We made some slight improvements. In the afternoon we had to solve an electronic issue that was costing us time in corner entry we spent most of the afternoon just solving this set back. Tomorrow morning we will continue to work on it and then we have some set up things to try. We still need to get more power out of the bike but the chassis surprises me more each day."

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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.

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