Friday, August 26, 2011

Hayden 'excited' about 1000cc era

Nicky Hayden, the last MotoGP champion of the 990cc era, is looking forward to the 1000cc engine rules that come into force for 2012.

MotoGP switched to 800cc motorcycles in 2007 and the reduction in torque - combined with electronic developments - has killed off the kind of tyre-smoking rear-wheel slides admired by fans and riders alike.

"I'm excited. I'm looking forward to it a lot. I think everybody is," said factory Ducati rider Hayden of next season's bikes.

"I think the new rules are going to be a lot better for the riders and the fans. I think it's going to be a lot better show. 

"It might not be quite back to the old days - say seven, eight years ago - when the electronics weren't so developed as far as making the bike look loose. 

"Now [the 800cc bikes] look more tame. From a distance and watching on TV, it looks easy," admitted Hayden. "But a lot of things look easy from the couch watching on TV. 

"With these [800cc] bikes, if you truly want to be going real fast, you need to be riding them in-line, hooked up and really flowing.

"But in the future, hopefully with the new bikes, [sliding] comes back into play because that's a card I feel like, with my background as a dirt-tracker, I have a good feel for a bike moving around."

Hayden has already tested an early version of the 2012 Ducati, although the factory opted to avoid a head-to-head test with the 1000cc Hondas and Yamahas at Brno recently.

"We haven't been on the same track at the same time with our competitors, so we don't know exactly where we stand, but we've gotten a good start," said Hayden. "The bike's got some good stuff about it. I'm looking forward to next year a lot."


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