Hayden happy with Jerez gains

Nicky Hayden has challenged the Honda World Superbike Team to continue the gains made in testing at the Circuito de Jerez last week.

Hayden put in 250 laps on the new Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP at the 4.423km (2.748 mile) Spanish track, testing the new swingarms, geometries, gearing, front fork and rear damper settings.

“We really must be thankful for the weather because, apart from temperatures a bit chilly in the morning, we had really great weather for three days; we needed it after missing so much time at MotorLand Aragon," Hayden told Fullnoise.com.

"We worked a lot in pretty much every area, because it’s still early days. We tested a lot of things and the team worked extremely hard over the three days changing wheelbase, gearing and more. They did a huge amount of work. Overall we take some positives out of this test.”

The American managed to post a lap time of 1’40.193 in the afternoon of the final day of testing in Jerez when using Pirelli’s new qualifying tyres, and said it was an overwhelming success.

"I had great fun on the qualifying tyre and I was told my time would have been enough to be on pole position here two months ago,” he said.

“It’s clear that everybody has made a big step forward already so we still have a lot of work to do. But I’m happy and looking forward to everything, let’s see if we can keep going this way.”

Testing did not go as well for Michael van der Mark, Hayden's teammate and the 2014 World Supersport Champion.

The 23-year-old was forced to pull out after the first day after experiencing pain in his right forearm – reportedly brought on by an overstressed muscle, with the presence of fluid.

Pieter Breddels, the team technical manager, said he was happy despite Van der Mark's absence.

“Despite Michael not being able to ride in the last two days, it has been overall a very productive test. With Nicky everything went smooth, we did a lot of laps and went through a lot of things,” he said.

"I think we’ve made a good step forward. Today we tried some qualifying tyres and the lap-time Nicky was able to set is promising.

“All the big teams were testing here so this has been a good benchmark for us and we’re very happy with how it went.

"We can now enter the winter break in a positive mood and we will keep working hard in order to be ready for the next test in January, when we will try new items and especially a new engine upgrade, which will soon be available to us.”