MotoGP: Catching Up with U.S. Star Nicky Hayden

Nicky Hayden race action shot

Circuit of the Americas Press Release:

COTA sits down with U.S. MotoGP Star Nicky Hayden:

The Skinny of Pre-Season Testing:

COTA: What were your major takeaways from your first 2014 preseason test in Malaysia?

NICKY: Well, it was great to get back on the bike after the mandatory testing break in December and January and go back to work with the team. Unfortunately, we weren't as quick at Sepang as I'd hoped. We ended in 14th position after three days of testing.

On the plus side, the bike was handling great, and I really enjoyed being back on a Honda and working with the Drive M7 Aspar team. We improved a lot on our electronics—specifically on the corner entry. But we need to find some top speed to be competitive with the guys at the front of the field.

Nicky Hayden race action shot #2

COTA: What will you and your team focus on prior to the next test session (Feb. 26-28)?

NICKY: It will be good to go back to the same track because we already have the base set-up.  So we can start almost immediately evaluating big parts and big changes like head angle, offsets, links and things that. We would like to get things set for the season, and know what each change does to the bike. That way when the racing season begins, we know how to fix the problems we encounter.

Also it will be important for me, after seeing the data and having time to think about things, to work on my riding and what I need to do to be competitive on a Honda again. I need to break any old habits I’m carrying over from my Ducati experience, especially when it comes to braking.

Let’s Get Personal:

COTA: What's your favorite meal after a long day at the track?

NICKY: Anything and everything! After a long day at the track, when I'm riding most of the day AND evaluating data and the bike's performance with my teammates, I find myself very hungry. I normally try to be good and grab something healthy like fish or chicken and vegetables. At least that's the plan. But I usually end up snacking on something before I make it to dinner.

Nicky Hayden Paddock shot

COTA: Who is the person in motorsports you admire most and why?

NICKY: There are lots of people I grew up admiring and trying to watch and learn from, especially in the AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) series. My absolute favorite growing up was Texan Bubba Shobert, a Factory Honda dirt tracker and road racer who claimed both the AMA Grand National Championship and Superbike Championship. I also looked up to AMA Grand National Champion Will Davis, who had 31 victories in that series, and fellow AMA star, Hall of Famer and MotoGP competitor Doug Chandler.

Tickets for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas Event 4/11-4/13 can be purchased here.

For more information:

Nicky Hayden testing action #1
Nicky Hayden testing action #2
Nicky Hayden taking a break.