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Jun 13, 2014 - 04:00 PM
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DRIVE M7 Aspar Team MotoGP - 07 GP Catalunya - FP
Posted by: newsla on Jun 13, 2014 - 03:57 PM
DRIVE M7 Aspar Team MotoGP - 07 GP Catalunya - FP

Nicky Hayden tests state of hand following surgery last week, placing nineteenth. Hiroshi Aoyama goes 20th fastest


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With Aleix Espargaró leading the way on day 1 of the Catalan GP, Friday showed the closeness of the premier class field. Many riders count the venue for this weekend’s race as one of their favourites, but this time it was some less familiar faces who topped the timesheets on a hot day. Many set their best times in morning, but Aleix Espargaró, Rossi, Márquez, Lorenzo, Bradl and Smith all took their turn on top. Espargaro benefitted from using the soft tyre compound to go fastest today, but all of the riders are close together so far and a great battle awaits on Sunday.

Nicky Hayden landed in Catalonia with the state of his right hand unknown, after the operation he underwent last week. But he responded well on the first day out on track. The DRIVE M7 Aspar rider knew that this would be a tough weekend for him, but was able to work consistently to set the nineteenth fastest time of the day in the morning session. In contrast, Hiroshi Aoyama set his best time in the second session and ended the day a position and 0.088s behind his teammate. After this positive first day, both DRIVE M7 Aspar riders will try to keep improving tomorrow.

19th Nicky Hayden 1.44.008 (32 laps): "Fortunately today we were able to ride uninterrupted to gather a lot of data. I am confident that we can improve over the weekend. We know that this won’t be an easy Grand Prix, but it is a home race for the team and we will try to do our best. The operation last week went better than expected and I feel considerably better than at Mugello. Unless tomorrow morning when I get up I have a specific problem, my goal is to ride all weekend. I hope to score plenty of points on Sunday. My main problem is my right hand when braking, but it's something I already had in mind, so I'm willing to deal with this situation. The Circuit de Catalunya is a track I like, but sometimes I feel comfortable here and sometimes not so much. This weekend we will fight to give the best showing of ourselves. This morning we worked on electronic mapping, trying to find more power and acceleration."

20th Hiroshi Aoyama 1.44.096 (37 laps): "Catalonia is like my second home Grand Prix, because I spend a lot of time here during the season and have been living in Barcelona for years. I have many friends who come to watch me and encourage me. All this gives me extra motivation. This morning we struggled to get on the pace, but in the afternoon we worked on the setup of the bike and I started to feel better. We still don’t have the complete confidence that we would like to push hard, especially on specific corners where I am losing a lot of speed. I hope that tomorrow we can improve the performance of the bike when cornering. Today we were two seconds off the fastest time, so I hope that tomorrow we can reduce the difference."

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