Hayden Confident of Ducati Move
“I still have a lot of faith in myself and in what I'm capable of. The first objective is to get back to the same level I was at in 2006, challenging consistently for the podium and trying to start winning races again,” admitted Hayden.
However, the American admitted that he has to improve himself in testing and get to know the bike more in order to really be capable of challenging for podiums in 2009. Hayden topped only one testing session this winter, at Valencia, outpacing a field of 6 riders on rainy conditions.
“Obviously I need to get faster in order to be truly competitive but I already love the bike. I can't say it's easy to ride, it gets pretty loose on corner exit sometimes but the engine is powerful and that is important, especially in a race situation.”
“The chassis is nice and stiff so you get plenty of feedback and I like the feeling with the front, which is really stable in the fast corners. So far we have only had two test sessions at Valencia and Jerez, which are tight and twisty tracks, and I think that at places like Malaysia and Qatar it will be even better,” added Hayden.
The ex-Honda rider also stressed the importance of having Casey Stoner as teammate for the new season. The duo won 2 world titles in the last 3 years and were the only riders to break Valentino Rossi's dominance in the MotoGP.
“I'm happy to be working with Casey - we've known each other for a few years now, you could say we've got similar backgrounds having not come up through European competition and having started out racing in dirt-track. We're both competitive and we're going to want to beat one another but we'll also work together to make a strong team,” concluded Hayden.