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GP Week : Issue 55
>>Moto GPnews Hayden takes an inch to gain miles per hour A RAISED and tilted seat and a new pair of wider and higher handlebars are a significant part of a raft of changes that have helped lift Stoner’s Marlboro Ducati team-mate Nicky Hayden at least halfway forward from the back of the grid. Getting to grips with a new electronics package and using an all-new Öhlins rear suspension unit had also played a major part, the rider said. “But it’s not one thing. It’s all a package – the bike and also the team. They’ve started to understand a bit more what I like,”said Hayden, who had to back off on his down-home Kentucky slang from the start of the relationship so that the mainly Italian technicians could understand him better. The electronics came at tests after round six in Catalunya; the suspension for the next race at Assen, both helping to curb the “pumping”out of corners that had been troubling him. The seat height was changed for the last race at Laguna Seca. “It’s 25mm higher, and tilted forward slightly,”the rider explained. This put more weight on the front. “My biggest problem had been when I get off the brake it runs wide. The only problem is I need a stepladder to get on the bike,”he joked. New wider handlebars were the change in Germany. “They’re 10mm higher, but they can go higher still,”Nicky explained. “I’m sitting up a lot more on the bike, so we’re getting the whole balance sorted,”he said. “I definitely feel more comfortable now, wet, dry, but we still miss a bit to call it ‘my bike’,”he concluded. Although eighth in Germany was a bit of a glitch, he had qualified fourth, continuing a steady improvement since Catalunya. He finished tenth in Catalunya, eighth at Assen and fifth in the USA. Images used in GPWEEK are shot by the photo-artists at Sutton Images. Posters available of any shot – CLICK HERE for more information Interested in Aussie V8 Supercars? CLICK HERE to access Australasian Motorsport eNews ... 1