Although Jorge Lorenzo may be on the pole position at Sepang where many expect that Spaniard to clinch the World Championship, the talk at the Malaysian GP right now is about Nicky Hayden. The American lead most of qualifying, and will start tomorrow second on the grid, after missing the pole spot by only a tenth of a second.
Hayden had an abysmal time last week at Motegi for the Japanese GP, and looked to be on a similar path this weekend, but the Ducati Corse team went back to a setting from testing last year, and Hayden was able to make up the rest of the distance himself.
“We were struggling yesterday but we went back to a setting that worked for us in the test and even though I didn’t get the lap time this morning I told the guys not to make too many changes to the bike because I felt comfortable and knew I could improve purely through riding,” explained Hayden.
Powering through the qualifying session, only the late surge by Lorenzo could best the American rider. “This is a bit of a surprise, I didn’t expect to be on the front row today,” said Hayden. “We only missed pole by one tenth but don’t anybody feel sorry for us, we’re pretty happy! The lap itself was obviously a good one, I don’t think I could have got any more out of myself or the bike, but overall we’ve done a good job today.”
Hayden will chase down Lorenzo tomorrow at the Malaysian circuit, for Americans the race time is at 6pm EDT since SPEED is covering Formula 1 live in Japan.
Source/Photo: Ducati Corse