Nicky Hayden to ride Ducati GP11.1 at Indianapolis Grand Prix
|By Jamie O'Leary||Tuesday, August 23rd 2011, 12:17 GMT|
Nicky Hayden will have Ducati's GP11.1 bike at his disposal for the first time at this weekend's Indianapolis Grand Prix.
The machine, which is heavily based on the Italian manufacturer's 2012-spec machine, has been used exclusively by Hayden's team-mate Valentino Rossi since the Dutch TT in June.
However Hayden, who tested the bike for the first time at Brno last Monday, has opted to switch from the older-spec GP11 that he has raced to points finishes in every race so far this year.
Ducati team manager Vittoriano Guareschi said: "We come to Indy after a test day at Brno, where the team and both riders did a lot of work: Valentino dedicated all of his time to trying many different adjustments to the GP11.1's set-up, which was a really tough assignment that Valentino approached with incredible commitment.
"Nicky also did a lot of laps, finding good enough harmony with the GP11.1 that both riders will use it at Indy. This is an important decision that will accelerate our development work. It's Nicky's home race, and that always provides extra motivation."
Hayden, who took Ducati's only Indianapolis podium finish back in 2009, added: "The team has worked really hard to get me the opportunity to ride this new bike, and now it's up to me to try and pay them back with a good result."