Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hayden 11th & Aoyama 12th for Team Drive M7 Aspar at COTA Round 2 of MotoGP

13/04/14. 02 GP AMERICAS - AUSTIN - RACE                                                                                                       
Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama make up positions to take eleventh and twelfth in Texas  

The second round of the MotoGP World Championship in Texas got underway at 2pm, literally moments after Jorge Lorenzo had launched from the line to earn himself an unwanted 'ride-through' penalty for a jump start that damages his championship chances. Marc Márquez needed no second invitation to dominate, having done exactly that throughout the rest of the weekend, adding a new lap record (2.03.575) to his account on his way to a second straight victory from the first two rounds of the season. The defending World Champion finished with a four-second lead over Dani Pedrosa, who took second place by a clear margin from Andrea Dovizioso in third. 

After a positive start to the season in Qatar there were strong finishes again from the DRIVE M7 Aspar Team, both Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama saving their best for race day. Nicky started from fourteenth on the grid but fought off Scott Redding and Yonny Hernández in a race-long battle to take eleventh place whilst Aoyama made progress with his front-end set-up to improve his pace and trade up his sixteenth place in qualifying for twelfth place in the race.

11th Nicky Hayden: “To be honest the race went a lot better than I expected and obviously it was much better than the rest of the weekend. It hasn't been an easy Grand Prix for us, we had a few setbacks during practice and to be honest my reaction wasn't the best. It was hard for me to be so far off the pace in my home race and I have to apologise because I'm sure I wasn't easy to be around. The team worked really hard all weekend, I gave the mechanics plenty to do and they did their best to give me the best possible bike. In the end we have come away with a positive result and I had fun fighting with a strong group of riders. The positive thing is we have more experience with this new bike and we know the season is long so we have to keep going to make the most of our potential.”

12th Hiroshi Aoyama: “I think starting from sixteenth and finishing twelfth, we have to be satisfied and it shows the progress we have made all weekend. I had a good start but with us going for the hard tyre we had to wait for the feeling to come in and as the laps went by I was able to close on the group in front and make some passes. In the end I almost caught Nicky so I am really happy and grateful to the team for giving me a great setting, the bike worked well and I felt better than in Qatar, especially with the front end. We still need to build experience with this bike but a twelfth place finish today is positive and we are on the right lines. I want to thank the team, the sponsors and everybody around me that helps us score results like this.”



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