Ducati’s Nicky Hayden has knocked two seconds off his Sepang laptime in the opening MotoGP free practice session this morning and attributes it to a new swingarm in the rear of his Desmosedici.
The 2006 world champion reckons he is getting better edge grip from the unit, which was debuted by Valentino Rossi at Mugello, and his wrist injury is also causing him less aggro which conributed to him finishing in eighth place.
“With my injury last winter, I didn’t really do much meaningful riding here during testing, so it’s hard to compare the bike from then to now. The main thing we’re working on is finding more edge grip, and we made a couple of improvements there," said Hayden.
"I was almost two seconds faster than last year here during FP1, which is nice. I tried the new swingarm, which definitely gave me better feeling at the rear. Then this afternoon was really strange. As can happen at long circuits, the track was completely wet on one part and completely dry on another, during the same lap!
"I did two laps, just to feel the wet conditions in case that’s what we have on Sunday. Anyway, I definitely felt a little better today than I did in Motegi, both with my wrist and on the bike, so hopefully we can have a much better weekend.”