MotoGP Legend and 2006 World Champion knew it would be difficult stepping into injured Jack Miller’s shoes at Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS for the Aragon GP, but the American admits he’d underestimated the challenge ahead slightly with a whole new bike, electronic package and tyres. Off the pace on Friday, the recent WorldSBK podium finisher made leaps forward throughout Free Practice to really get in the battle in the race, coming home in P15 and scoring a point in a well-earned impressive performance. Hayden just laments having the one opportunity to go racing – with his new home of WorldSBK having two races per weekend.
Speaking after the race, Hayden said: “I would have to say that the race was my best part of the weekend. I underestimated on Friday how long it would take to get up to speed with the package, particularly with the Michelin tyres and certainly the front tyre. I started too far behind on Friday but in the race I was able to have a battle with Pirro, Barbera and Laverty who were all two seconds faster than me on the first day.
“I got a good start and really enjoyed battling with a few guys and the more laps I made the better I felt. I wish it was like World Superbikes and we got another chance to line up because I think with the experience gained I could do a better job. But all of us on the grid think like that. I’d hoped I’d come here and be more on the pace on Friday but that didn’t happen.
“I knew it was a just a one-off ride and I knew it was going to be extremely difficult with no testing but I came and gave it my all. It has been a good experience and I want to thank Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS for this opportunity. I was proud to work with such a great team.”
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