Day 3 of Honda's Jerez Winter Test.

Sean Alexander
by Sean Alexander
It looks like Nicky is once again putting his nose to the grind stone and toughing it out. I hope it pays off in next year's rainy MotoGP races.

*PRESS RELEASE* Honda Racing Information *PRESS RELEASE*

HRC Winter Test Jerez, December 11, 2002.

Weather Spoils Final Day of HRC Winter Test

Persistent rain ensured the final day of the rain swept three-day HRC winter test at Jerez was no more productive than the opening two days. Heavy overnight rain and persistent showers in the morning again ended any hopes of serious testing being completed by three of the four riders.

Nicky Hayden was the one rider to put in serious track time on his RC211V. The US Superbike Champion, who joins the MotoGP championship in 2003, put in a total of 57 laps today. The majority of them on a wet track.

Hayden has little experience of full wet tires in rainy conditions and the inclement weather while disappointing in many ways, was in others, a God send to Hayden who waited until after lunch to take to the track. Hayden was also lucky enough to get in a few laps on a fast drying track at the end of the day. But with the sun going down he had little chance of looking for a fast time.

"Well I've learned a lot this week," said Hayden. "I needed the wet track time and I like the positive feel of the RC211V in the wet. When the track was more or less dry I got in some time with a dry set up but it was very cold, and we couldn't do much, but again it was good experience. We go to Malaysia next so I guess we will get a lot of dry track time there. I'm going home for the holidays. I hope everybody in racing enjoys the Christmas holiday and I wish you all a Happy New Year."

Japanese stars Daijiro Kato and Tohru Ukawa had done as much as they could do with their RC211Vs on the opening two days and did very little today. Both men preferring to wait for test sessions in the finer weather the Southern Hemisphere has to offer HRC in the New Year.

MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi was a disappointed man at the end of the three days, in which he had not completed 20 laps of the 4.423km Andalucian track.

"What can we do?" Said Rossi, before setting off for the airport and home. "Very unfortunate that we lost so much time. A great pity because we had some important tire testing to do with Michelin. We will have to do that at Sepang, Malaysia, in January."

"We get to take a holiday now and I wish all in motorcycle racing a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you at MotoGP in 2003."

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