Hayden: I could have finished higher

Honda rider Nicky Hayden is disappointed with his sixth place finish at the World Superbike Championship in Assen after being in fourth place at one stage on Sunday.

Hayden feels they waited too long to change to slick tyres in the drying conditions in Race Two which could have seen him possibly challenging for a podium place in the half-wet half-dry conditions.

Related: Rea seals dramatic Assen WSBK double

In Race One on Saturday, Hayden finished third behind Ducati’s Chaz Davies and race winner Jonathan Rea on his Kawasaki.

Related: Rea wins Race 1 in Assen

In an interview after Sunday’s race, which was won by Rea, Hayden said he felt he could have finished much higher up the field had he not elected to have stayed out on the track too long with the wrong tyres.

“I can’t say I’m happy with sixth as I felt I could have finished in a much higher position. I got another great start, I went from tenth to fourth just on the first lap and everything felt right,” said the American.

“This was the first race for me in the wet in Superbike and with these tyres, so that put a smile on my face. Then, when the sun came out, the track started to dry really quickly.

“I was feeling really good and I guess that made me stay out on track for a bit too long before I pitted. Even when I got back on track I could not get up to speed immediately, as for the first time I was riding a bike with a wet setup on slick tyres.

“At some stage I found my rhythm and went past Lowes, but then the gap to Davies was simply too big. Again, it has been a new experience for me and now I’m looking forward to Imola.”

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