Nicky Hayden: "I'm Starting To Enjoy Riding The Ducati"

At the pre-race press conference for the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring, Nicky Hayden spoke about the progress he'd been making on the Ducati, after a difficult start to the season. Speaking to a packed press room, under questioning from's official commentator Nick Harris, the American revealed how the hard work put in by him and the team were starting to pay off. Below is a transcript of part of Hayden's interview:

Nicky Hayden at the Sachsenring press conference 

Your 5th place at Laguna must have given you a great boost.

Last couple of races we've been 10th, 8th, 5th, we've made a lot of progress. That makes me happy that we're moving in the right direction, and we've found a way with the team. I'm enjoying riding the bike more. It's pretty good, and we need to keep going. But now I know that to stick my nose in the next group is when it's going to get real hard. That's the big step, that final group up front. We're going in the right way, just keep our head down and there's a lot of racing left to go.

What made the difference or did it just start to click? You've changed personnel, you've all been working very hard to make it work?

It was a lot of little things. In the beginning everything was wrong; I didn't feel any confidence in the bike, and a lot of bad luck, and it was just a disaster really. But slowly we've just started eliminating problems and working through it. Sure we've had some setbacks along the way and it hasn't just come over night - not that anything at this level ever does. It hasn't been just one thing that fell in place. We're still a long way off where we want to be and there's still a lot of work left to do. But certainly a lot of people have worked hard, and the team is starting to understand me better and the communication has certainly improved since the beginning of the season so now we're able to make a lot more progress through the weekend.

And there's a lot of work with Bologna and from the test team and they spend a lot of time testing. I spend a lot of time in Bologna with Filippo talking about things. We'll see if we can't keep it up because now I'm enjoying it. The bike is good, but that's the thing, sometimes it's hard to get it out of the bike, though when the bike is right it has huge potential but when it's off a bit it can often be a nightmare.

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Can someone please tell me where i can find that hat?

Awesome, what a great guy!

Nicky is saying he's been making progress and finally starting to enjoy riding the Duck, and we're all going on about $80 flat-rimmed baseball caps ...?

Let's hope he's really on the way to figuring it out, and can bring another red bike up to the front to battle with the Yamahas and Hondas (and his teammate).

Looking forward to updates and photos direct from Sachsenring!

The hat is $80 because it has Ducati Corse on it.

I race Ducatis in the UK, and anything that has those elusive words "Ducati Corse" stamped on them is sure to be more expensive than any equivalent part on any other bike. Or at least it seems to my hip pocket, I've not really done any empirical analysis.

Still, I wouldn't want to be riding anything else.