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Tommy Hayden's Superbike Quest
veteran bypasses supersport title defense
by evan williams
Monday, April 3, 2006
Kawasaki's Tommy Hayden is the reigning Supersport champion, but this season he and Kawasaki have returned to Superbike racing. How's it going for the Ownesboro, Kentucky, native?

"So far, it's been busy. Been doing a lot of testing, riding, and trying to get ready. Trying to get the bike better and myself better, too," said Hayden. "I think we're making steps and that's the important thing. We got a solid result at Daytona -- nothing to jump up and down about -- but we got some points and learned some things. We have to keep moving forward and if we don't improve by the next race, I'll be disappointed."

The ZX-10R has been surprisingly competitive from the beginning and was a match for the Hondas and Ducatis at the first race. Hayden was also testing more new parts at Barber, believed to be engine components.

"Mat (Mladin) has been a step ahead of us, but even in testing, we're either right there are just a bit behind everyone else," said Hayden. "At our last test at Laguna, I felt we stepped it up. (At Daytona,) I felt confident that if the bike worked as well as it had the last couple of test, we'd be close for battling for that third spot. That's where we ended up, fighting for third, plus we learned some stuff."

Hayden repeated as last season's Supersport champion despite a broken arm and Mononucleosis. He says the 600 class had become second nature to him. "I was so comfortable on that bike, I felt I could ride it with some problems," Tommy said after the Barber test. "It was really natural and comfortable for me. The bigger bike is not as natural for whatever reasons and I have to think about it more and try a little harder. It takes more effort all the way around. It seems good so far, though. I'm having fun and getting more comfortable on it. Nothing happens overnight and we just gotta keep making steps."

Hayden revealed that he misses riding in Supersport. "Not riding the 600 wasn't my decision. I actually wanted to and expressed it," he said. "We sat down and had a long talk. I still wanted to ride (the 600). (Team manager) Mike Preston and I talked about it a lot and weighed everything out. I think this is the way to go, though. Racing is one thing, but you only get half the testing when you are riding two bikes. We have a new Superbike and it's my main priority. We're just going to treat it like that and nothing will take away from it. In the past Superbike has never gone the way I wanted it to. This is a new way to approach it."
 

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:cool: I love the Hayden boys.( even that one that rides a Honda:lol: )
 

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I really need to get out of the house
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kaw808 said:
Hayden revealed that he misses riding in Supersport. "Not riding the 600 wasn't my decision. I actually wanted to and expressed it," he said. "We sat down and had a long talk. I still wanted to ride (the 600). (Team manager) Mike Preston and I talked about it a lot and weighed everything out. I think this is the way to go, though. Racing is one thing, but you only get half the testing when you are riding two bikes. We have a new Superbike and it's my main priority. We're just going to treat it like that and nothing will take away from it. In the past Superbike has never gone the way I wanted it to. This is a new way to approach it."
I wonder why they didn't have Rodger leave SS behind too. :dontknow:
 

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I guess they fell that Tommy is the veteran of the two and has more experience, and plus this will give Roger a chance to win the championship. If I'm not mistaken Roger is the only factory rider for Kawi this season.
 
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