The qualifying session was ran in difficult conditions following a brief shower that left the Sepang Circuit treacherous once a rider touched a white line or a kerb. Afterwards Hayden admitted that the conditions were “very tough, harder than it looked” but he made no excuses for his mistake:
“It was raining just enough to make the track wet in a couple of places, especially turn six and seven, and through there on the second lap I had a big slide,” said the 2006 MotoGP champion. “It was difficult to judge the grip and through there I didn’t do a good job so I’m not happy at all. Everyone else committed through there and for the rest of the lap I wasn’t too far off but I didn’t commit through there and the laptime wasn’t good and that’s on me and it was a bad performance for sure.”
“In FP4 I improved my laptime and my rhythm a little bit and we made some changes that were in the right direction. We changed the balance with the ride height. It was the first big improvement we made to the bike this weekend and it helped me carry more corner speed and stop better.
“I don’t feel amazing in the dry and I know that we have some limitations but I feel better this week compared to the last couple of races but the gap to the group in front of us is a lot here so it will be a very tough race but I hope to put up a better fight that the last couple.”