Assen was arguably the most difficult race weekend of Nicky Hayden’s MotoGP career with the American qualifying 22nd and struggling through the race to finish 17th. In the difficult conditions at the start of the race Hayden looked strong and was able to move up ten places on the first lap as he rode aggressively through the pack.
“In the wet I got a good start and could make up some positions and it was nice to pass people,” said Hayden. It was clear that the track was drying quickly and that the tyres were quite hot on the right side and afterwards I had a terrible race when I went on to the second bike.”
The 2006 World Champion stayed on the fringes of the top ten in the early laps in the damp conditions but once the field was forced to change to slicks Hayden was not comfortable on his second bike and struggled to get the brakes up to temperature. The issue was so severe that the American was convinced there was an issue with the bike:
“When I got onto my second bike I didn’t feel that it was running right. I couldn’t get any heat into the front disks when I came out of the pits because I didn’t feel that it was running right. I was checking that all the switches were right so that first lap it was hard to get heat into the front pads. It’s not easy going from conditions like that.”