After his horror crash in qualifying on Saturday at the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar Nicky Hayden did well to come home twelfth on his Ducati race debut.
Nicky Hayden produced an impressive display in his first race for Ducati Marlboro coming from 16th on the grid at the Losail International Circuit in Monday’s re-scheduled MotoGP contest to finish in the points in 12th place, despite his back and chest injuries.
Controlling the awesome Desmosedici GP9 throughout the race cannot have been easy for Hayden after his big crash in qualifying on Saturday, given the badly bruised back and stitches in his chest which the American had to deal with.
Nonetheless he was still fighting right to the death, recording his best lap time right at the end of the race and almost catching his former team-mate Dani Pedrosa for 11th place on the finishing line.
"It’s been a tough weekend, we’ve had a lot of issues and obviously a 130mph high-side doesn’t help things, but nothing really went smooth," Hayden said afterwards. "At the beginning of the race I was quite slow, I didn’t get a great start but actually as the fuel load changed and I got a better feeling I got faster and faster and the last five or six laps were my fastest of the whole weekend."
The ever optimistic Kentuckian went on to add, "It would have been nice to beat Dani at the end there but I think the team have showed that even though a lot of stuff has gone against us this weekend we’re not going to give up. Hopefully the bad stuff is behind us now and Casey (Stoner) has shown the potential of the bike. Crazy as it sounds I’m leaving here in a really positive mood and looking forward to Motegi."