NICKY HAYDEN KEEN TO ATTEMPT BARCELONA COMEBACK
DRIVE M7 Aspar rider hoping to race despite recent wrist surgery, Hiroshi Aoyama looking forward to 'second home race'
Fast, wide and with a mixture of technical and demanding corners, the Circuit de Catalunya plays host to the seventh round of the MotoGP World Championship this weekend - the second race this season to take place on Spanish soil and with home riders battling for glory. Marc Marquez is aiming to extend his run of victories to seven from seven for the season with his team-mate Dani Pedrosa and resurgent rival Jorge Lorenzo both aiming for home success - not to mention multiple Catalunya race winner Valentino Rossi also looking to join in the party.
DRIVE M7 Aspar rider Nicky Hayden is travelling to Spain after undergoing surgery on his injured right wrist in Italy last week, with plan being to ride his Honda during free practice on Friday so that he can fully assess the extent of his recovery so far. After missing the last race in Italy the American rider is determined to get back into the action but is experienced enough not to risk further damage if it is not necessary. His team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama, a Barcelona resident since 2004, is also looking forward to riding this weekend after missing his 'second home race' last year through injury.
Nicky Hayden: "I am happy to say my hand is feeling better then before surgery and in Mugello, but it's only been seven days since the operation so still a bit to early to say how I will be in Barcelona. After resting it after surgery for a few days I know started rehabbing it but I really have to wait a few more days to know my level and if it's possible to go this weekend. I think I will try in FP1, see how I feel and discuss it with my team and doctors to know if we can do the race. For sure I would hate to miss another race after two non point scores but also we have to be smart and think long term and make a decision with both our heart and head. So we wait and see, hope for the best. This track is fast and challenging with a bit of everything, and a lot of long corners with a lot of lean angle where if we can make the soft tyre last it can help us be more competitive with the extra edge grip."
Hiroshi Aoyama: ''I have lived in Barcelona for a few years now so Catalunya is like a second home Grand Prix for me, I know the track perfectly and it always a pleasure to ride at this circuit. Last year I missed out because of injury so I am looking forward to it even more this time and I hope it can be a good race for me. Even though we still have a lot of work to do we are improving our feeling with this bike every weekend and hopefully my track knowledge here can help us make quick progress with the set-up."