Hayden: I’ve never stopped trying

Nicky Hayden won his first World Superbike victory in Sepang on Sunday, a decade after his last victory on a bike.

The American's last win at a world championship level was at Laguna Seca in 2006, on his way to claiming his first MotoGP World Championship.

"It's been a long time since my last win unfortunately!" quipped the 34-year-old, who last competed in Superbikes in 2002, on crash.net.

"I wish it wasn't so long but that's the reality. That first GP win was something special, but this feels great. I've had a couple of dry years, but I never stopped trying. 

"I got the opportunity here in Superbike, when at the end of last year I can tell you I never had a lot of opportunities. Also not a lot of people in Superbike were real interested. So to be able to still do some good races. Really happy."

Hayden added that the rain in Malaysia motivated him on to push the limits.  

"I'd had a great pace in morning warm-up, in the dry, so I wasn't necessarily happy it rained because anything can happen," said the Honda rider

"But when it rained I knew I had to go for it. I know people say 'you can't win the race on the first lap' – but in rain races, you can. 

After the warm-up and sighting lap I knew visibility was not going to easy. So I wanted to get to the front and, I mean, I'm not exactly fighting for the championship! 

"So I had to go for it, pulled a gap and they did a great job with the drainage of this track because it started to dry very quickly. Almost too quick in some places. So it was tough at the end but I managed my gap, got the win and I'm very happy."

The wins moves Hayden up to sixth in the riders' championship, 142 points behind leader Jonathan Rea.