An engine failure at the Malaysian Grand Prix has put Nicky Hayden in a difficult position for the remaining races of 2013. Having planned on using that engine for the remaining three races the Ducati rider now has to evaluate his remaining engines and may even be forced to start Sunday’s race from the pitlane to avail of a fresh engine.
When asked about starting from the pitlane Hayden admitted that it is a possibility but that his team will need to evaluate their current engines before making a decision:
“Starting from pitlane is a possibility but we need to see more about this engine and how well these used engines are,” admitted the American. “With these used engines you never know, once they get to the end of their life and start to lose power, how much life is in them. We’ve had a couple of engines that went all the way to the end of their life and still making normal power.
“We’ll put in one of my older engines tomorrow and we’ll see what the power is doing and check the parameters about different things and see how it’s running. It will be extremely close but we need to see what sort of life is left in these engines. The engine we used in Malaysia was sent home, I think they got it this morning, so they’ll see today what happened there. It was a bummer because it was supposed to be my race engine for the rest of the season. When it’s going against you it’s hard to turn it around and right now I’m not catching many breaks.”
With the Philip Island circuit having been completely resurfaced since last year’s year and given that the World Superbike riders found over one second in qualifying for February’s race Hayden’s lap record from 2008 is likely to be beaten. When asked about the new surface Hayden was confident that the bumpiness of recent years will no longer be an issue:
“My track record will obviously fall but Philip Island was definitely getting bumpy and for sure I’m looking forward to riding it smooth. For us smooth is better, our bike has sometimes struggled more on the bumps so I’m glad to see the new track and what it does with tyres. Here can be hard on tyres but the track isn’t brand new, it’s seven months and they done a lot of riding on it and it’s not too hard on them. Tyres and the weather are what’s important here at Philip Island”