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Page last updated at 13:16 GMT, Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Hayden embarrassed at ruining Ducati's MotoGP launch

Nicky Nayden
Hayden finished 13th in last season's MotoGP championship

Ducati's Nicky Hayden has admitted he could be "in the doghouse" for ruining the launch of his team's new bike by posting pictures of it on his website.

The 2006 world champion visited the team's factory for a glimpse of the 2010 MotoGP bike but did not realise the design was meant to be a secret.

The bike was to be unveiled this week at an Italian motorsport convention.

Hayden said: "When I saw the bike I took a picture on my phone. I should have known better, I was like a kid."

The 28-year-old, who finished 13th in his first season with Ducati, said he was happy with the bike and did not believe the departure of team principal Livio Suppo would adversely affect Ducati's season.

"I like the bike, while another off-season with the team will be a big help for me," he said.

"Sure the bike is good and we have a strong package for 2010. There's been a few changes in the team. With changes you have big opportunities."


Hayden's only worry is the enforced use of fewer engines this season in a further bid for MotoGP to cut costs.

"Six engines is not a lot for 18 races. I hope it saves some money but I'm not sure how much it is going to save because it takes a lot of development to make them last," he added.

Meanwhile, Hayden's team-mate, 2007 world champion Casey Stoner, said he was free of injury and illness after he was forced to miss three races last season because of a mystery ailment which was eventually diagnosed as lactose intolerance.

"Blood tests showed I was OK for a normal person," said the Australian.

"No one was listening to me so I don't believe I have to answer any questions. It's the first off-season in three years I've not had an injury."

Hayden 'loving the good life' at Ducati

Stoner also said that he felt the bike was in good health as he aims to make amends in 2010 for an illness-disrupted 2009 campaign.

"The new 'big bang' firing order that the Ducati engineers have been working on is definitely a step forward," he said.

"It has improved traction and handling and it has reduced the bike's tendency to wheelie.

"Now we have to work on finding the right settings for the GP10 and understanding how the bike reacts to different set-up changes, which will be different to the old bike."

Stoner also said he expected Hayden to be a more serious contender this coming year, and spoke of the positive team spirit in the Ducati garage.

"I think it is unusual to have an atmosphere in the garage like the one we have," he said.

"There have been a few changes to the team with the arrival of team manager Vittoriano (Guareschi) and MotoGP project manger Alessandro (Cicognani) but they are both doing a great job and I can't wait to get back out on track for the first test of the year.

"The objective for 2010 is to win, as it is for everybody of course, but whether or not we manage it the most important thing is that we give it our best shot and I feel we can do that now."

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see also
Hayden signs new deal with Ducati
03 Sep 09 |  MotoGP
Hayden to leave Honda for Ducati
15 Sep 08 |  MotoGP

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