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Misano WSBK: Front end problems compound Hayden woe

Honda’s Nicky Hayden found front-end issues on his bike too much to make anything of World Superbike race two at Misano as he rode to a sixth-place finish.

Hayden had begun the weekend well in Italy, taking top spot in Friday’s practice but he says that was more down to the likes of Kawasaki not putting new tyres in and perhaps giving Honda a false confidence.

The American believes his team ‘hit the wall’ in terms of race development early on in the weekend, having reached a limit after testing at Misano just previously.


A disappointing crash in race one wasn’t made much better by his second race efforts, after the former MotoGP world champion was forced to ride within himself due to some front end problems early in the race.

“Obviously it wasn’t spectacular, I didn’t really make a good start I didn’t make a great first lap,” said Hayden of his race. “I just seemed to find myself in the wrong place at the wrong time and I didn’t feel very good on the front, especially in the early laps. 

“I had a couple of near-misses, quite a few little warnings from the front and I thought I needed to calm down and when I started to push again I ran off in Turn One.

“I caught the bump and the rear tyre came off the ground and I had to release the brake which cost me a couple more positions. 

“Eventually I started to feel okay but my pace was not great and I never felt great on the front so I can’t be happy. I made my best lap on lap nineteen, but clearly I didn’t use the potential of the tyres well enough in the early laps.” 

A battle with the likes of Lorenzo Savadori, Jordi Torres and Alex Lowes ensued, with Savadori winning the mini-tussle but for Hayden he is just glad to see the back of Misano.

“If you look at my record, I have a terrible record at this track,” he concluded. “A lot of it has been bad luck and some of it lack of speed, but it seems like it never goes well for me here.”

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