Hayden the formerworld champion seems to be getting used to his newduring the pre-season testing and the opening two rounds of the season.
Hayden said last week “I’m so happy to be in Thailand again and it’s great to see the enthusiasm for the new Fireblade & motorcycle racing in genera! Last year was my first time racing here and I really enjoyed it. It is nice to be in a country with so many motorcycles and scooters everywhere.
Hayden feels his Red Bull Honda made excellent progress during the Thai World Superbike race weekend and enabled him to begin to hunt down the front runners, however he admits there is a very long way to go but feel that he & the Fireblade are up to the task.
During race two in Buriram last weekend Hayden & Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) continued to work through the frustrations aboard the new 2017 Fireblade. This coming Saturday riders take on the Asian challenge from 13.30 for Superpole One before the racing action starts at 16.00 in Buriram.
In race two however Hayden feels Red Bull made huge steps forward as he was able to challenge the front runners and produce his fastest lap times but sadly he had to settle for 7th place which was his best result for the season so far this year.
He said “the bike certainly worked much better and after the red flag I was able to do my best lap times of the weekend. All in all we had a couple of very good laps and overall I was quite consistent. I was in a group fighting for fifth place but suddenly Leon’s bike started blowing smoke so all I did was try to stay out of trouble.”
“Unfortunately that move cost me some time and when he retired I had already lost touch to Chaz for 6th place and after that had to settle for a very lonely 7th place.”
At the end of the day Hayden aka The Kentucky Kid said “things certainly went a little better than race one but we have a huge amount of work to do to close the gap between us and the leaders”. “At this stage we can only hope we will be able to get up there as soon as possible”.
The team returns to Europe in the 2nd part of the season which begins in Spain in about three weeks’ time.
Red Bull Honda is planning to introduce a raft of upgrades in time for round 3 in Spain including a new improved fuel tank and quite a few updates to it’s electronics package.
2017 World Superbike Calendar
1. Australia – Phillip Island GP Circuit, February 24-26
2. Thailand – Chang International Circuit March 10-12
3. Spain – MotorLand Aragón, March 31-April 2
4. The Netherlands – TT Circuit Assen, April 28-30
5. Italy – Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola, May 12-14
6. UK – Donington Park, May 26-28
7. Italy – Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, June 16-18
8. USA – Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, July 7-9 *
9. Germany – Lausitzring, August 18-20
10. Portugal – Autodromo Internacional do Algarbe, September 15-17
11. France – Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, September 29-October 1
12. Spain – Circuito de Jerez, October 20-22
13. Qatar – Losail International Circuit, November 2-4