Friday, April 11, 2014

Hayden 14th & Aoyama 17th in Day 1 Practice at MotoGP Round 2 at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas

11/04/14. 02 GP AMERICAS - AUSTIN - FP                                                                                                      


DRIVE M7 Aspar rider compares various tyre compounds on Day 1. Teammate Hiroshi Aoyama rmakes similar trials and places seventeenth 

The winner of the inaugural GP of the Americas last year, and holder of the circuit record, Marc Márquez was a clear favourite for this round in the days leading up to the return to Texas. The Spaniard carried that responsibility with gusto, and dominated both free practice sessions of this second edition of the Grand Prix. While much remains of the weekend and circumstances may change, the Spaniard was way out in front on Friday. Although Marquez was the clear dominant force, Dani Pedrosa also set a consistent pace and Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone moved their Ducati’s up the order towards the end of the day. The 2013 tyre compounds are back for this Grand Prix, and Yamaha struggled on the opening day: Valentino Rossi was fifth, with Jorge Lorenzo eighth.

The DRIVE M7 Aspar riders began the GP of the Americas with mixed feelings. Nicky Hayden had an electrical problem at the end of the opening session, which fortunately did not disrupt his plans. The American compared two types of tyre compounds, and is ready to use either of the two options for the race this Sunday. He had a tougher time than expected negotiating the twisty Texan circuit, but hopes to improve tomorrow to cut the gap to the frontrunners. He concluded the day in fourteenth place after setting his best time on his thirteenth afternoon lap. His teammate, Hiroshi Aoyama, had little feeling in the morning, but worked on the tuning fork of his bike to find more confidence in the afternoon. He closed the day happy with his work. The Japanese rider was seventeenth overall and is eyeing further improvement tomorrow.

14th Nicky Hayden 2.06.188 (28 laps): "This morning at the end of the first session we had an electrical problem. We had to take the second bike out, with which we had planned to try a different setup from the number one machine, but we didn’t have time. Luckily my mechanics solved the electrical issue. Today we did a comparative tyre test: The soft tyre allows us to be faster, and the hard rubber worked better here than in Qatar. I think with this temperature that we have now, we can choose either of the two options. I’m enjoying the Circuit of the Americas a lot more than I did last year. The grip on the track is much greater than I had expected. Last year I had problems in the section with the flowing corners; I thought this year would be different but it is still tough. I hope to find a better pace tomorrow. We have some ideas about where we can improve. Today I did not want to focus on lap times, but instead work to improve my feeling with the bike. It is strange to be so far back at a home Grand Prix, so hopefully tomorrow we can improve."

17th Hiroshi Aoyama 2.07.034 (31 laps): “This morning the asphalt was rather dirty, which didn’t make for an easy session. In the afternoon we adapted the front suspension to the conditions of the circuit, and our situation improved. I had a good feeling and immediately we could see this in my times. We continued working on our setup and are on the right track. With this morning’s setup the tyres suffered a lot, but with the afternoon configuration they performed better and held up for longer. Tomorrow we will continue working in order to improve the front end response a little more, and to increase tyre durability to ensure minimum wear.”

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