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Hayden disappointed with fourth

Nicky Hayden felt he wasted an opportunity in Phillip Island qualifying after missing out on a fifth successive front row start

The Repsol Honda rider believed he had the pace to challenge for pole, but ended up fourth on the grid - 0.731 seconds slower than his polesitting teammate Dani Pedrosa.

"It actually felt pretty decent on race tyres, but I'm not happy with my qualifying lap at all," Hayden said.

"I had a pretty good lap going, but I must've gone too hard on the out-lap because it went off in the last sector. I basically lost six tenths in the last split.

"Fourth's not a disaster but it's Phillip Island and the bike was good enough to at least be on the front row. And I'd had four front rows in a row so it would've been nice to keep that little string going."

Hayden is still confident that he can be a factor in the lead battle tomorrow.

"It's hard to say, judging by the times, but a lot of guys have put in quick times and this is a track where if you get in the lead group you can stay in that group," he said.

"And with the way the weather's been, nobody really has a good idea of tyre choice and different things.

"See what the weather does tomorrow, but definitely we're going to go for it. We're going to dig deep and try to get in there with the boys."

Although the American expects a close-fought battle in the race, he admitted that it was possible that one rider could break away at the front of the field.

"It's definitely hard to get away here, but you've seen that guys can do it, especially when one guy makes a move and they slow each other down and then someone gets away, so I wouldn't rule it out," Hayden said.

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