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Hayden to continue with pneumatic engine

Nicky Hayden, Honda, Donington 2008Former world champion Nicky Hayden says he is happy to continue developing and racing Honda's new pneumatic engine for the rest of the MotoGP season.

The American, who has struggled to match the pace of HRC teammate Dani Pedrosa, finished seventh on the new bike in Donington and says its power delivery suited his style better than the conventional 800cc motor he has used up until now.

"It's aggressive, I like the feel of the engine that reacts strongly when I get on the gas," he told Italian magazine Motosprint. "It has a bit of a lag in the delivery, so the power comes violently, but I like it more than the other one.

"It's quicker too, and that's good to have. The engineers have found a good electronic management set-up, so I think this is the right time to start using it."

"I went to [Tadayuki] Okada and asked him in a direct way: 'is this bike able to race in a Grand Prix?' He told me it isn't, more time was needed.

"But it's not true: this bike already goes fairly well and it has sizable margin for development, we just need to carry on working on the electronic management and on weight distribution, which is not optimal yet."

The magazine suggests that Honda was reticent to begin racing the new engine, and laid conditions on Hayden for using it.

"They told me I can't go back: they told me this is my bike for the second half of the season," he was quoted as saying. "That's fine by me, I don't want to go back. I accept the risk of doing the development on track because it's worth it. This bike suits my style better, and that's what I needed."

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Hayden pleased with new Honda engine