Hayden Gets Wet at HRC Winter Test

Sean Alexander
by Sean Alexander
PRESS RELEASE* HRC Winter Test Jerez, Spain, December 9, 2002

Heavy Rain Curtails Work on First Day of HRC Winter Test at Jerez

The first day of the planned three-day test session for HRC MotoGP riders, at Jerez, Spain was curtailed due to heavy rain, which poured down until after lunch, and again late in the afternoon.

American Superbike Champion Nicky Hayden took his RC211V five-cylinder four-stroke out onto the rain soaked track. Hayden has little riding experience on Michelin tyres in dry conditions, less on full wet pattern tyres. The foul weather at Jerez gave the 23-year old the opportunity to acquaint himself with the Michelin's wet weather covers he is almost certain to use at some point during the 2003 season.

At the end of the session the soaking wet and freezing Hayden said. "The track is really running with water at times, it was better in the afternoon but rained hard at the end. Basically I was just getting in running time in the conditions. I have never raced on full wets in the US. The tracks are not as safe as in Europe."

"I first had to find my way round here on the RC211V. Once I had done a few laps I began to feel comfortable on the bike in the wet, I got a better feel as the day went on. In the end I felt very comfortable out there. The bike is very positive in the wet, and the tyres felt really good. It wasn't very good for the team gathering information but it was good for my experience."

Japanese MotoGP stars Daijiro Kato and Tohru Ukawa tested their RC211V's but could do little more than confirm wet tyre performance. They did not undertake the marathon session Hayden did, both men keeping laps to the minimum necessary in the conditions.

MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi not test today, the Italian preferred to wait for better climes and sat out day one. "It was too rainy today; we had nothing to test in the rain so I decided not to ride at all. Tomorrow I will ride, even if it rains. It's a pity about today, we had important test for tyres, but slicks!" Commented Rossi.

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Sean Alexander
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