Nicky Hayden, a two time Laguna Seca race winner, had to settle for an eighth place finish today after a difficult race that included contact with his teammate, Andrea Dovizioso.
The American, who was told during the week that he will not be racing for Ducati in 2014, admitted yesterday that he expected a tough race and the Ducati was clearly outmatched by the Honda and Yamaha riders today with Hayden and Dovizioso ending the race eighth and ninth and over 30s off the pace.
After the race Hayden said that he suffered from overheating in the early stages that meant that he lost his rear brakes:
“We knew the weekend was going to be tough and after a few laps I overheated and lost the rear brakes for two laps when I had just done my best lap,” said the 2006 world champion. “I thought I could have stayed in the 1m22s and get away from Dovi but I had to let the brakes cool for a lap and after that I lost some feeling with the brakes and the group [in front] got away from me and I could only race with Dovi.
“I managed to get eighth place but here we knew was going to be tough. I hoped to be in the 22’s but I think we got the most from our package and hopefully over the summer break Ducati can do some work and the second half of the season is better.”
Hayden now has a three week break with which to prepare for the third US round of the season at Indianapolis.