Free practice in Japan is no free ride for Hayden

Although Nicky Hayden himself claimed he was close to full fitness before the Polini Grand Prix of Japan the American rider was not on the pace on Friday at Motegi.

The hard-working Nicky Hayden has plenty to do on Saturday at Motegi as he looks to bounce back from his injuries and tough first race weekend with Ducati in Qatar. He was outside the top ten on the first day of practice in Japan.

13th – Nicky Hayden Speaks…

"The track was quite slippery when we first went out and the air felt so cold, with the humidity, it felt like it could rain any second. We certainly had to be careful getting some heat into the left side of the rear and into the front. We tried a few things out with the set-up – I ran both bikes and worked in the direction we’d found in Qatar, where the balance of the bike had felt much better in the later laps, with less fuel on board. Obviously the lap time isn’t great but we improved with every run and pretty much every lap, we got a good number laps in just in case it does rain tomorrow and we worked out a basic direction we need to take for the race, so I’m satisfied."

Combined Free Practice Times

1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team 1’48.545
2. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team 1’48.601
3. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team 1’48.965
4. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Rizla Suzuki MotGP 1’49.382
5. Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’49.697
6. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1’49.980
7. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda 1’50.030
8. Marco Melandri (ITA) Hayate Racing Team 1’50.123
9. Toni Elias (SPA) San Carlo Honda Gresini 1’50.209
10. James Toseland (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’50.342
11. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda 1’50.391
12. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team 1’50.393
13. Yuki Takahashi (JPN) Scot Racing Team 1’50.404
14. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Grupo Francisco 1’50.538
15. Alex De Angelis (RSM) San Carlo Gresini 1’50.601
16. Randy De Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP 1’50.669
17. Mika Kallio (FIN) Pramac Racing 1’51.643
18. Niccolo Canepa (ITA) Pramac Racing 1’51.929

Motegi: Record Lap
C. Stoner (Ducati) 2008, 1’47.091

Motegi: Best Lap
J. Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2008, 1’45.543

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