Hayden "learned a lot" on tough Buriram weekend

Nicky Hayden says he "learned a lot" as his steep World Superbike learning curve continued at the second round of the series in Thailand.

Honda Ten Kate rider Hayden, who is spending his debut season in the championship after 13 years in MotoGP, was forced to retire from fifth due to a faulty sensor on his bike in Saturday's first Buriram race.

However, the American fought back to seal the same position on Sunday and take his second top-five finish in four attempts.

"We made a lot of changes overnight and I just felt more comfortable," said Hayden. "Maybe not perfect, but surely the improvement was there.

"I was able to ride without making mistakes and the bike was perfectly smooth. I didn’t get the best of starts and was not fast enough in the first laps to be aggressive and make passes.

"As the laps went by I felt more and more comfortable; towards the end I started to set my fastest laps of the race and this is very positive.

"I would lie if I didn’t say that after the warm up I thought I could have put up a better fight, but nonetheless I learned a lot again and overall it was a good weekend."

Strong showing for van der Mark

Fellow Honda rider Michael van der Mark continued the impressive form he showed at Phillip Island by securing his first WSBK pole of his career.

And while he failed to match Kawasaki duo Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes in race trim, he was still able to salvage a podium finish in the first race and fourth behind Ducati's Chaz Davies in the second.

"Pole position, third place in race one and now a fourth place definitely surpass the expectations we had before the round, given the difficulties encountered last year," said the Dutchman.

"We decided not to change the front tyre type for race two and, although we knew it was a bit of a gamble, it turned out not to be best choice.

"I did not have the same feeling as in the previous encounter, but it was a risk we had to take and after all, we have 13 more points to add to our tally.

"Overall I'm happy with my results, the best thing is we finally get a confirmation the bike has really improved on every track."

Van der Mark sits third in the championship after four races, a point behind Sykes, while Hayden is eighth in the standings.

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Event Buriram
Track Chang International Circuit
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Michael van der Mark
Teams Honda World Superbike Team
Article type Breaking news