Nicky Hayden had a short day at the office on Sunday –not the short hours that he would have liked at Motegi. ‘The Kentucky Kid’ lasted barely a lap before his day was over, courtesy of some rookie exuberance from home rider Yuki Takahashi.
Punted into the gravel by the Scot Racing rider, Hayden was in little mood for hearing Takahashi’s side of the story in the heat of the moment, with the need for as much time as possible with the Ducati Desmosedici GP9.
“In the gravel trap I tried to ask Takahashi what he was doing; I guess he apologised, but I’m not too big on ‘sorrys’. I know that it’s a home race, and that there’s a lot of pressure, but that’s no excuse for trying to be a hero and take somebody out. It’s a race, and we’ve all done it,” said the Ducati Marlboro man, a relentless professional who can be forgiven for feeling aggrieved.
“It was exactly what we didn’t need. I got a decent start, then just going into the hairpin I just felt somebody hit me and that was it. We could have done with the experience, more than anything, as I need some laps on this bike.”
As a minor consolation for the American, he will be at full fitness for the upcoming Gran Premio bwin.com de España this coming Sunday, despite his fall.
“This week I felt like I had better communication, and understood people better. We’ve got another race coming up, and I’m in good shape at least. I landed on exactly the same place as I did at Qatar and, apart from a bad headache, I’m feeling ok,” he concluded.