Ducati will keep working to help Hayden

Ducati says it will continue working to get Nicky Hayden up to speed on the GP9 in addition to pushing forward with developments to help Casey Stoner's title challenge

Ducati will keep working to help Hayden

Stoner is now tied for the points lead with the two Yamaha riders, but team boss Livio Suppo said Ducati had no intention of devoting all its resources to the Australian's title bid at the expense of its efforts to help Hayden acclimatise.

"We need to continue to give our maximum both to Casey, who is fighting in one of the closest championship battles for years, and to Nicky, who has shown that he has the ability to adapt to the characteristics of our bike, which is more difficult for him than it is for other riders because he had spent so many years on the same machine before this," said Suppo.

Hayden, who has struggling to adapt to the Desmosedici after joining from Honda, was hugely encouraged to set the sixth fastest time in Catalunya practice, although he slipped back down the order in qualifying and was only able to finish 10th. Nevertheless, he believes the Spanish event was the start of a resurgence.

"We know we have a lot of work to do but myself and the team are hoping that the Catalunya race was the start of a major turnaround that we can continue to build on until the end of the season," said the former world champion.

Suppo believes Ducati took a big step forward with both riders at Catalunya, but that the bike's progress was masked by the illness that hampered Stoner all weekend. He finished third, but could not keep pace with Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo's incredible lead battle.

"The weekend in Barcelona was really important for us," said Suppo. "We started to see the fruit of all the hard work being done by [technical director] Filippo [Preziosi] and his guys, as well as [test rider] Vitto [Guareschi], and it looks like the development route we're taking with the GP9 promises to make it even more competitive."

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