Nicky Hayden sees big Moto GP potential for newly paved track


In the interest of safety, he asked for a small favor from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Following a race in which drivers expressed some concern for an often bumpy track, Nicky Hayden and the safety board involved with Moto GP simply asked to have two corners of the infield course repaved.

They got more than they bargained for-in a good way.

"Turn 6 and 11 we wanted redone," said Hayden of the request. "Indy, as they do with everything else, went the whole way."

In doing so, the Speedway repaved the 1.5 mile infield course from turns 5 to 16, introducing essentially a new course for the August 28th running of the Red Bull Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

Hayden got his first chance to turn some laps on the new surface, which was finished in early July, and immediately noticed differences on the bike.

"It was pretty much what I expected, it was pool table smooth," said Hayden of his ride on Friday morning with some of the Ducati staff along with him.

Beyond being safer and more comfortable with the riders, Hayden believes the surface could help to create some more exciting action for the fans in the stands.

"I think we'll be going faster," said Hayden of how the new infield could translate to the Moto GP at the end of August. "Depends on how much rubber we get laid down and how the grip comes in, we're gonna see a new lap record."

A win might be more on the mind of Hayden, who has fared well in the closest stop on the circuit to his hometown of Owensboro, Kentucky. The rider's second place finish in the 2008 race was followed by a third place in 2009 and a sixth last year.

Alongside new teammate Valentino Rossi, Hayden is seventh in the Moto GP points following a seventh place finish July 24th at Laguna Seca.

"When you can race three hours from home its pretty special, so I've got a lot of friends and family coming up, just try to get here and get a good result," said Hayden.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times