Hayden can’t wait for Imola debut

Honda rider Nicky Hayden can’t wait to make his debut at the legendary Imola circuit at this weekend’s fifth round of the World Superbike championship in Italy.

The 34-year-old, who was the 2006 MotoGP world champion and switched to World Superbikes last year, says he is hoping to get used to the Imola circuit quickly to continue his good start in the 2016 campaign.

After four events Hayden lies fifth in the driver standings on 67 points having picked up his first podium last time out at Assen. He is well behind championship leader Jonathan Rea on his Kawasaki with 181 points.

Hayden says that he has always loved the chance to race in Italy especially during his MotoGP days with Ducati. He added that Imola looked a very technical track but he was keen on getting started there this weekend.

“Racing in Italy is something I have always enjoyed in the past and I don’t think in superbike it will be any different,” Hayden said.

“For what I’ve seen on videos, the track looks epic but I will need to work hard with the team from Thursday, having a look at the data and understanding the gearing and the layout.

“It looks a very technical track with a lot of elevation changes and I know from experience that if you notice them on TV it means that when you see them live they are twice as steep and on a bike even more.

“It’s a track with a lot of history and I grew up watching my heroes racing there, so I’m looking forward to getting started.”