Heel injury makes Hayden minor doubt
A knock picked up at his recent X Games surprise appearance will be affecting Nicky Hayden this weekend, although he is unlikely to miss the Cardion AB Grand Prix Ceske republiky.
In contrast to most of the MotoGP riders returning from their summer break, Nicky Hayden will be far from recharged and refreshed when the World Championship action resumes at Brno. The 2006 World Champion picked up an inopportune right heel injury in practice for his ill-fated X Games guest appearance at the beginning of the month, leaving him not only crocked but with little time to recuperate from the knock.
The Repsol Honda rider is not expected to sit out the visit to the Czech Republic, but was frank about the state of his appendage after his Supermoto setback.
`Hopefully I´ll be fit for Brno. I didn´t crash, I just landed wrong. I´m not sure if my foot came off the peg or what, but it feels pretty fragile. I´m pretty bummed out about it because I want to get out there and finish this season strong,´ said the American, who had some major grievances with tyres rather than fitness at Laguna Seca last time out –a situation he does not expect to recur at the recently resurfaced Brno track.
`I can´t wait to try out the new surface at Brno. The last couple of years the surface has gotten quite old, not really bumpy but just so abrasive and cracked, so I think with a brand new surface the track is going to be awesome,´ he explains.
I heard they didn´t just reseal it, or just put something on top, they did it the right way and started over. That´s going to be crucial for tyre wear, so we´ll probably have a bigger range of tyres than we normally do, both front and rear, to make sure we've got something.´
Whilst teammate and fellow walking wounded Dani Pedrosa is likely to test the pneumatic valve engine once more in the post-race test, Hayden will once again be using the motor for the latest round of action. The long straight and power-heavy emphasis of the layout will provide a first chance for `Trick Daddy´ to feel the true benefit of some extra horsepower, an opportunity that he is relishing.
`Brno is quite fast and open. It´ll be the first time we´ve taken this new bike – with the pneumatic valves – to any place where we can really stretch its legs and see what she´s really got. Brno´s got a little bit of everything, it's not the kind of track where you can just set up the bike for just one thing. Good traction is certainly important to get off those corners good because there´s a few big straightaways, especially the uphill run to the final left and right. You also need something that's stable on the brakes, because there's a lot of hard braking.´
Injury permitting, Hayden will line up for the opening practice in the Czech Republic on Friday morning. He will also be one of the riders facing the hacks in the Thursday press conference.