Sunday, November 9, 2014

Team Drive M7 Aspar's Hayden 13th, Aoyama 15th in MotoGP Season Finale in Valencia

09/11/14. 18 GP COMUNIDAD VALENCIANA - RICARDO TORMO - RACE                                                                                                      

Hayden finishes thirteenth as Aoyama says goodbye to the team with another point

Satisfactory end to the season for DRIVE M7 Aspar pair at Valencia despite strange track conditions

At two o'clock this afternoon the final round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship got underway at Valencia and just moments later the rain began to fall at the Ricardo Tormo circuit. Whilst some riders exercised caution at the sight of the drops on their visors, others like Andrea Iannone took the opportunity to make a break at the front. The Italian's charge proved no more than a flash in the pan as Valentino Rossi and Marc Márquez established their pace, with Dani Pedrosa following closely behind as Márquez went elbow-to-elbow with Iannone for the lead. Their battle was brief as Márquez's pace proved too hot, with only Rossi putting up any kind of resistance as both Iannone and Pedrosa dropped back. There was to be no stopping Márquez though on his latest record-breaking ride, the Spaniard becoming the first rider ever to take thirteen victories in a season. Second place for Rossi was enough to seal second in the championship, with Pedrosa completing the podium some fourteen seconds behind.

Nicky Hayden finished the season in the way he knows best, battling hard and finishing in the points. After two operations during a season that he missed large chunks of, the DRIVE M7 Aspar Team signed off from the 2014 campaign with a thirteenth place finish today. Nicky left nothing on the track at Valencia, a circuit he loves, fighting with a group of riders in the early stages of the race only to drop off the pace as his tyres wore in the final laps. Whilst Hayden begins testing for next season with the team tomorrow, Hiroshi Aoyama says goodbye to both the team and the championship. The DRIVE M7 Aspar Team rider has been one of the most consistent riders on the grid this season and after working hard to set a new bike up since Friday he was able to finish his campaign with a single point to add to his tally in his 168th appearance.

13th Nicky Hayden: “The team did a great job this morning, we found a couple of small improvements to the bike that enabled me to set a decent pace in the warm-up. I was only 1.1 seconds off the best time, the closest I've been since I came back. The race was okay but I was hoping for more. Even though I got a good start I lost a couple of positions. When it started to rain I felt comfortable but as the laps went by the tyre destroyed and then when it rained again I didn't have a good feeling and I couldn't fight with the guys around me. Thirteenth place is not a bad result for us but I was hoping for more today. Now the season is over and it is time to start thinking about the test tomorrow.”

15th Hiroshi Aoyama: “The track conditions were quite tricky today and with a new bike it was particularly difficult to manage. We went with the harder tyre option and maybe that was a mistake. When the track was damp at the start of the race I struggled for rear grip and I couldn't keep my pace up. It was a nice but strange experience to race a completely new bike today but I am happy to sign off in this way at Valencia. The electronics on this new bike needs a lot of work, especially with respect to the power delivery and traction control.”


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