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Hayden ‘open minded’ as he enters the World Superbike unknown

Former MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden has an open mind as he enters the unknown of World Superbikes next weekend and is an unknown himself as none of the competition have a firm idea just how fast he will be on the ageing Hondas.

All the riders assembled at Philli[ Island for the two-day test that begins in just a few hours say Hayden is one big factor they know not enough about. Testing is simply that and no-one - probably not even Hayden himself - knows just how fast he will be over the required one-lap dash and then the two races in Australia.

It is known that Hayden is fast on used tyres and enjoys a bike that is loose under him. Testing was successful for the MotoGP exile but he ran out of time before the Fireblades went in their crates.


“I can’t say we’re completely ready, we had a couple of more things we wanted to test in Jerez but because of the weather we didn’t get through. I got to try the qualifiers again and the long run but there’s still some work to do,” Hayden told Bikesport News.

“I do feel better with the bike, the team was able to improve some areas for me from the time I rode the bike in November. When I came back to Jerez, definitely some things improved based on the feedback and requests I gave. That’s a good positive. "

“For the races, I’m going in with an open mind. I look forward to them and obviously qualifying will be very important. I also look forward to getting on track with other riders; during testing, I didn’t get to ride a lot with other riders and this will be good for my learning, to actually see some riders on track. This will help me giving some extra feedback to the guys, to understand where I can improve more and where we can improve the bike.

“I have a lot to learn and I fully realised that – for the riding, the championship, the competitors, the teams… but as I said at the beginning of the interview, I’m happy to be in World Superbike, I have a lot of support, I’m feeling good with the team already. It didn’t take long to familiarise with the crew and the bike. Soon we will get in the mix and get after, so I’m looking forward to it. It’s a new adventure so I’m going to go for it.”

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