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Join Date: May 2005
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Hayden ready for this weekend.
Hayden: No surrender
Having seen his championship lead shattered by team-mate Dani Pedrosa's mistake last time out in Portugal, Nicky Hayden has declared he'll fight to the bitter end to try and secure a sensational title turnaround in Sunday's Valencian season finale.
The Repsol Honda rider held the 2006 world championship lead since round three, but will start the seventeenth and final event of the year eight-points behind reigning champion Valentino Rossi, after Pedrosa's extraordinary careless error left them both in an Estoril gravel trap.
Only one rider, Kenny Roberts Jr, has beaten Rossi to a premier-class crown - and that was in the Italian's first 500cc season back in 2000 - but Hayden must try not to dwell on the size of the task facing him, or on what might have been had Pedrosa kept control of his Honda, and focus on the fact that anything can still happen.
"When I think about the last race I still feel pretty sick but the truth is I've got to get over it because whinnying or talking about it any more won't change that 'doughnut' in the points column," said Nicky, who cheered Elias to a narrow victory over Rossi after his own elimination. "My shoulder is feeling a little better, the clutch is finally better and my boy Elias did me a huge favour at Estoril and gave me hope!"
Hayden rates the Valencia circuit as one of his favourites on the grand prix calendar and he finished just 0.097secs seconds adrift of race winner Marco Melandri last season, in which Rossi and Yamaha were third.
"Valencia is a track I really like and the atmosphere there is unreal - it's as good as it gets as far as a crowd to race in front of," he said. "So I go there with nothing to lose - I need to win and hope that Rossi has a bad weekend. I know that's a long shot but we won't surrender until the chequered flag on Sunday. I know my team is in my corner and I have lots of fans - especially back home - still riding with me. Also it's the last race for MotoGP as we know it so I am sure this one will be another classic!"
If he scores nine points more than Rossi the crown will go to Hayden, but in many ways the pressure is now off the young American, and has shifted to Rossi... and Pedrosa.
The 21-year old Spaniard, a double race winner in his rookie season, has gone from hero-to-zero after the shocking Estoril incident - which many believe proved that Pedrosa rides for himself and not the team. Dani's only hope of salvation if is he and Hayden finish one-two this weekend, giving Hayden the crown, and Pedrosa has pledged to help Hayden in any way possible - but it may be too little, too late.
"It's been quite a difficult time since the race at Estoril, for obvious reasons," admitted Pedrosa. "It's hard to just forget such an incident, especially when it was so important for Nicky and the team, but that is what I must do now. I have to put it behind me and to focus on getting the best possible result this weekend.
"I'll do everything I can to help Nicky - we have a big challenge ahead but we can make it. Valencia is a small circuit, but it's a good test of the bikes. On a MotoGP machine it's going to feel very tight and the key will be to get a good balance from the bike in the many medium and slow corners.
"It's very flat and it's very good for fans because they can follow the whole lap of a rider from almost every spot. And since it's the last race of the championship and in Spain, the atmosphere is going to very intense. I've been on pole position and won the race here three times before so I really hope the weather stays fine and I'm able to put in a strong performance this weekend and get the right result for the team," he concluded.
No more mod listing, shits is STILL too long
03 600RR > 04 1000RR > 06 R6V > 05 600RR > 06 R1 > 09 1000RR > 10 RSV4R :gun: