MotoGP: Round #14 DRIVE M7 Aspar Race Preview - Aragon

Nicky Hayden race action shot

DRIVE M7 Aspar Press Release:

The MotoGP riders were welcomed to the Motorland in Alcañiz by some late Spanish summer sun and ideal temperatures of 23°C as the first free practice sessions of the GP of Aragon took place in perfect conditions. Marc Márquez announced this week that this is one of his favorites circuits and the series leader did his best to set the pace in both the morning and afternoon sessions, which saw a drastic rise in temperatures, only to be denied by Ducati pair Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso.

After two months out DRIVE M7 Aspar rider Nicky Hayden returns to action at the GP of Aragón, the Kentucky rider completing 33 laps today across the two sessions as he re-accustomed himself to riding a MotoGP bike. His first impressions were positive and even though he needs to recover strength and competitive fitness, he was able to ride without pain for the first time in several months today.

Nicky improved his lap times by a second from the morning session to the afternoon, finishing the day in eighteenth position. His DRIVE M7 Aspar team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama also made good progress today, adapting his set-up to the change in temperature whilst assessing both the hard and soft tire options.

Nicky Hayden Pit-Row  shot

Nicky Hayden:

18th - 1.50.890 (33 laps)

“Today I was happy just to be riding again and especially without pain. We don't like to be so far down the time sheet but we know it will take a little time to re-adapt. The important thing is that I didn't have any problem riding the bike and now it's just a question of patience whilst I recover the strength in my arm and fingers to be able to brake properly. We improved this afternoon compared to the morning session and we are not too far off where we were before the operation. You have to consider that the rest of the guys have improved their pace since then. So now we have to work to get back to their level again. I will continue with the rehab and recovery sessions to get back to 100% as quickly as possible.”

Hiroshi Aoyama race action shot

Hiroshi Aoyama #7:

14th - 1.50.283 (36 laps)

“It was quite fresh this morning and then the temperatures increased quite a lot in the afternoon so it was easy to get confused with the set-up of the bike. Personally I had a very different feeling from one session to the next but we tried to find the right balance for the bike and it looks like we went the right way. We have also tried to get the bike turning better and to improve the response in corner exit. The feeling was positive so we will keep going in the same direction tomorrow. We tried both the soft and hard option tires but we didn't have time to work out which is the best option for the race. The objective tomorrow will be to complete a long run so that we can make the right choice for the race.”

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