For 2014, Nicky Hayden is one of four riders to be piloting the all-new Honda RCV1000R customer bike. The 2006 World Champion continued to adapt to the machine as the Sepang Official MotoGP test started on Tuesday.
American Hayden completed Day 1 in 17th position as he continued his apprenticeship with the Drive M7 Aspar team.
“We would have liked to be quicker and to have been closer to the front,” the ‘Kentucky Kid’ said. “There are a lot of fast guys on good bikes this year. We have improved the electronics a lot since Valencia (November) to smoothen out some of the flat spots – that has helped a lot.
“We still need to prove the power and acceleration. That is our focus. Tomorrow we have some stuff to try on the chassis.”
Summing up the main difference between Factory Option machines and the Open specification bikes, such as the one he is riding, Hayden concluded: “Your options are less. You can’t change every single part of the track for engine braking, wheelie control and so on, but this bike is so different it is hard to compare what is electronics and what is actually engine characteristics and things like that.”
On the other Honda RCV1000R bikes were Hayden’s teammate Hiroshi Aoyama, plus GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Scott Redding and Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham, who ended proceedings in the 18th, 21st and 26th positions, respectively.Drive M7 Aspar, Honda, MotoGP, Nicky Hayden