Q & A with Nicky Hayden

Q. What do you put your speed in the wet down to?

Q & A with Nicky Hayden

Nicky Hayden: I think our bike works well. Normally I won't pat myself on the back too much, but the year before last I improved a lot in the rain. When I first got to Europe I was fast sometimes [in the rain] but I crashed. In the first year or two I'd just pray it wouldn't rain. I'd look out the window in the morning; 'is it raining? No, good!'

That was never going to work. I realised I was never going to be a world champion if I didn't learn how to ride in the rain. That winter it rained a lot and, with a lot of hard work with the team at the time, I improved.

Set-up is every bit as important sometimes in the wet as in the dry. The bike itself in the rain is not a lot different. I've got a bit better with the tyres, at Donington we made a change on Sunday morning and that was the best I've ever felt in the rain on this bike.

Q. Can you learn anything from a wet practice to help you for a dry race?

NH: That's the bad part really, it's cool to be up front having fun. But seriously you don't learn a lot. Where I'm at, I need more dry time. For me this year, without the Friday morning session it's Sunday afternoon when I get fast - a lot of times this year I've done my best lap with four or five [laps] to go [in the race], so it really hurt me it being wet on Friday.

You don't really learn a lot, just a couple of little things. If it does rain on Sunday or later in the year - there's a good chance we'll have more rain somewhere, Phillip Island, Malaysia in the monsoon season, you learn stuff here that might work in the rain there.

Q. Does your approach change at all without Casey [Stoner] here?

NH: It really doesn't change anything.

Q. How different are Ducati and Honda to ride for? Are there things Ducati could learn from Honda?

NH: Everything is different, from the team, chassis, electronics, bike, it's all completely different. There are certainly things Honda does well and things Ducati could improve. I don't think it's a secret that the Honda shifts a little easier. They both have their strengths and weaknesses.

One of the first things we talked about [at Ducati] was what they're doing that we could do better. I think if you went from Yamaha to Honda the situation would be the say, to see if there's something there you're missing.

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