Ducati Marlboro newboy Nicky Hayden encountered problems on Sunday afternoon in Jerez and referred to his eleventh placed finish in the BMW M Award as something of a disaster.
Outside the top ten in the first ‘competitive’ session with his new team on Sunday at the Official MotoGP Test, Nicky Hayden left Jerez trailing his triumphant team-mate Casey Stoner by a significant 1.755s margin – as the Australian took the honours in the BMW M Award.
In fairness, the vast majority of the MotoGP grid have struggled to match Stoner’s 2009 preseason pace and Hayden is still adapting to Bridgestone tyres and the Ducati Desmosedici GP9.
The 2006 World Champion survived a scary moment in the Sunday showdown session as he ran into one of the Jerez gravel traps at high velocity, fortunately managing to keep himself upright and immediately return to the track.
Having placed eleventh on the Official Practice timesheet Hayden reviewed the second day in the south of Spain saying, "In the morning we made some small improvements and I was able to go a bit quicker, but the 45-minute session was a bit of a disaster. We were making some changes beforehand but ran out of time to get the bike ready and I lost some time at the beginning of the session. Then when I went out we had a clutch problem and I had to change to my second bike, which I’ve hardly ridden this weekend, and it had a different setting."
Forever his own harshest critic Hayden admitted he had hoped to round off the preseason in a more competitive fashion and noted his own team-mate’s high standards, to which he will aspire in 2009.
"Casey has shown the package is good and to be honest I’d hoped to be closer to him by this stage," the American rider stated. "But now it’s time to go racing, so we’ll head out to Qatar, work hard and see what happens."
Unlike Stoner, Hayden went back out on track for the late Sunday free practice run, using the opportunity to get some additional wet laps under his belt before calling it a day.