Nicky Hayden threw his leg over a motorcycle that was not a Honda for the first time in nearly a decade earlier today at Valencia. As Casey Stoner’s teammate, Hayden began testing his new ride, a Ducati GP9 race bike. Reviewing various quotes from Hayden at the end of the day (he was 12th quickest, and more importantly, second quickest of the six Ducatis at the test), Nicky indicated there was quite a bit of work to do, but he felt the machine had plenty of potential.
The amazing Casey Stoner was quicker than anyone (no surprise) aboard the all-new carbon fiber chassis. Testing continues tomorrow, and Stoner offered the opinion that Nicky would improve quickly aboard his new bike (which features new-to-Nicky Bridgestone tires). It will be a steep learning curve for Hayden, no doubt, but he is already quicker than Marco Melandri was in yesterday’s race aboard the factory Ducati.