A badly worn rear tyre saw Nicky Hayden struggle in the second half of the Qatar Grand Prix. The American would go on to finish eighth, piped to the flag by Scott Redding, and afterwards Hayden admitted that pushing too hard in the opening stages of the race ultimately left him struggling towards the flag.
Speaking exclusively to Crash.net the former world champion said:
“Of course I didn’t like that but we know Scott’s qualities and he’s been going faster and faster. I don’t like it but he’s got a lot of quality. The first half of the race the bike was quite good and the pace wasn’t too bad but I pushed a lot to get on the back of Espargaro and I wasn’t thinking enough about the tyre, and I really destroyed it, so the second half of the race my pace wasn’t very good. Also going back and forth with Scott didn’t help so the gap at the end was 32s.“
When asked about opening the season by finishing the race in eighth position Hayden admitted that fortune favoured him today with the likes of Jorge Lorenzo, Bradley Smith, Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl all crashing ahead of him:
“On paper eighth isn’t too bad but we know that a lot of guys crashed so we’ll have to go a lot faster if we want to be in the top ten again.”
The next MotoGP race is in three weeks time in Texas and will be a home race for Hayden however he doesn’t have fond memories from last year’s inaugural race at the Circuit of the America’s:
“Honestly, last year in Texas was not a good race for me, maybe the worst race of the year for me, and I struggled a lot with the track but hopefully it’s much better this year.”