Nicky Hayden took full advantage of the first two days of dry conditions at Jerez, and even ventured out in the wet after rain showers halted other riders from going out on Day 3.
Ducati Team, Pramac Racing and Avintia Blusens ended a testing program at Jerez early due to a combination of rain, wind and low temperatures on the final day. The MotoGP riders had fair conditions through the first two days though, and overall Nicky Hayden proved to be one of the fastest on track.
The American rider continued testing the two new chassis and single new swingarm, the main components he wanted to focus on throughout the three days spent at the Spanish circuit. In the morning on Day 2 he went down early in the session, but was luckily able to walk away without injury. His best lap time on Day 2 came in at 1’40.090, half a second over Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo’s pole lap at the circuit in the 2012 season. Despite the challenging weather conditions, Hayden put in a number of laps in the wet on Day 3 but was quick to return to the garage.
“Things didn’t go as smoothly as we had hoped, but the test has been useful despite everything,” said Hayden. “On the first day, we struggled a little bit getting up to speed, but we improved somewhat yesterday. We were able to evaluate the new frame and swingarm, as well as a few new settings. Today, though, the weather hasn’t been kind to us. I did three exits in the wet, but it hasn’t been dry enough for slicks. It would have been nice to ride in the dry today, as we wanted to confirm a few things and improve our pace, but nonetheless, we got through some things and have a lot of information to work with. Thanks to the guys for all the hard work this year. Now we’ll look forward to February at Sepang.”
His teammate, Andrea Dovizioso, was sidelined on Day 1 due to a re-aggravated issue with his neck. He missed Day 2 entirely, and was only able to log three laps on Day 3. He’s going to spend the testing break receiving further medical evaluation in an effort to solve the problem before the start of the 2013 season.
“It’s a shame about the problem with my neck,” said Dovizioso. “It’s something I had experienced at the GP in Malaysia, where I crashed twice, and in Australia, where I crashed once, and both times I had physiotherapy treatments and anti-inflammatory medicine. It re-emerged last week two days after a crash on my motocross bike, but the same treatment worked and I felt fine when I came to Jerez for the test. Unfortunately, it happened again after just a few laps, and this time we weren’t able to resolve it with physio and anti-inflammatories. It seems that the problem is probably bigger than we had previously thought, and I’ll have to undergo some further medical tests.”
Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone continued to search for a comfortable feel on his bike during the session on Day 2, while Michele Pirro rode in Ben Spies’ stead as the American rider is still rehabilitating from a crash late in the 2012 GP season. Hector Barbera of Avintia Blusens focused on improving the chassis of his BQR-FTR, as did his teammate Hiroshi Aoyama. None of the riders on Pramac or Avintia took the chance of riding in the wet on Day 3.
In other MotoGP news, LCR Honda MotoGP rider Stefan Bradl underwent surgery on his birthday to address the arm-pump problem that plagued him during the 2012 season.
“After the arm pump problem I suffered in Japan this year at Motegi GP I had my first medical check with Dr. Mir two weeks ago and together with the Team we decided to have this surgery quickly,” said Bradl. “The operation turned out really well and Dr. Mir told me my arm was better than he thought, so I am really pleased we took the decision and operated. It’s weird to celebrate the birthday at the hospital but some of my technicians came to visit me and the medical staff have been very nice with me.”