MotoGP: Hayden Howls Ducati GP12

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Ducati MotoGP

After Valentino Rossi spent Friday testing the Ducati GP12 that the team will use in 2012 MotoGP, his teammate Nicky Hayden got to pilot the new prototype Saturday.

The Jerez testing session for the “Kentucky Kid” Hayden didn’t get underway until 1 p.m. due to the same wet track conditions that plagued Round 2 of Moto2 at the circuit last weekend.

Once Hayden began lapping Jerez, though, he completed 61 laps, 11 more than Rossi.

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team MotoGP) says: “When I woke up this morning, the sky was really gray and the track was completely wet. I was pretty disappointed. I didn’t think we’d be able to do anything because it wouldn’t have made sense to waste a day testing in those conditions. The situation got better and better though, and after lunch, I was able to put on my leathers.

“I couldn’t wait to ride, and it was worth the wait. It’s an honor to be able to participate in the first track test of the GP12 because it doesn’t happen very often that you get to ride a bike on the track for the first time: it’s a special feeling.

“Everything went well, and we didn’t have a single problem: the motor is really nice to use, and I had a lot of fun riding the bike. I hope I gave some useful feedback to Filippo and the boys. I know they’ll be working on this bike while we go back to focusing on the next race, because this season just started.”

Fillippo Preziosi (Ducati MotoGP Technical Director) says: “First of all, I’d like to thank everyone at Ducati, because thanks to their hard work and expertise, it was possible to carry out three days of trouble-free testing and complete nearly a thousand kilometers with the GP12 in its track debut.

“Having received consistent feedback about the bike from four different riders puts us in a position to efficiently continue the development process, because we can prioritize the work we have left to carry out.”