This just in from CoTA:
As we count down the days until the first MotoGP? race of the season this Sunday, March 23, in Qatar, the "Kentucky Kid" Nicky Hayden, shares his final thoughts on preparations to date and the competition to come.
IN THE GARAGE with...NICKY HAYDEN
U.S. MotoGP? Rider (#69)
Team: Drive M7 Aspar
COUNTING THE DAYS UNTIL QATAR...
COTA: Only a week until the season opener. What's going through your head right now?
NICKY: It's an exciting time for sure as today I'm leaving for the start of my 12th season in MotoGP, which is an honor. So, I'm a bit nervous as it's the first race with a new team. But mostly, I'm just excited.
Nicky Hayden during the final preseason MotoGP test in Qatar March 9, 2014
COTA: You've expressed concerns about your new Honda motorcycle and the amount of power it produces. Have you made any progress there?
NICKY: Well top speed is not our strength at the moment with this bike, but it's time stop complaining and go racing. We know it's not going to be easy, and I am not as confident as I thought I would be with this new bike. But I need to focus on what I can control and improving where I need. And for me that's taking advantage of the strength of the brake, and using its braking to 100 percent. I also need to re-adjust my brain to not use the clutch on back shifts on the corner entry and let the electronics do all the work?and not have the two systems working again each other. It's the first time in my career where I don't need to use the clutch, and it's a little harder to do than it sounds when you're pushing at maximum and the reaction takes over.
COTA: Next up on the MotoGP calendar is the race in Austin at COTA. What are you looking forward to with your next trip to Texas?
NICKY: The fans! The support I get here at my home GP is amazing. It's really a pleasure to have so many fans standing behind me rain or shine, so it will be nice to see everyone and have my family at the race. That's also pretty special. They can come along, support me and enjoy the event. And Mom can sell her merchandise at her stand, which I know she loves!
COTA: Okay, it's time to get to know the real Nicky Hayden. Tell us your preference of these choices:
COTA: Batman or Superman?
NICKY: They are both cool. But I prefer the former racers who have won the grand slam!
COTA: Pizza or cheeseburger?
COTA: Beer or bourbon?
NICKY: M7 Drive Energy Drink!
COTA: Mountain retreat or ocean view?
NICKY: Ocean view
COTA: Dog or cat?
COTA: Star Wars or Star Trek?
NICKY: Neither. I'm not into that stuff.
COTA: Friday night or Saturday morning?
NICKY: Saturday morning
COTA: M&Ms or Reese's Pieces?
COTA: Football or basketball?
COTA: Blonde or brunette?
NICKY: One of each, please!
DON'T FORGET - RED BULL GRAND PRIX OF THE AMERICAS TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW!
COTA's 2014 MotoGP event features many new fan-friendly options, including
Three-day weekend passes and single-day ticket options for fans;
Fans can purchase three-day MotoGP Paddock Passes for $150 and roll like a VIP all weekend;
A new dry camping option for fans who want to stay close to the circuit all weekend; and
Kids 12 and under receive FREE general admission with a ticketed adult.
GET YOUR TICKETS TO THE GREATEST SPECTACLE IN TWO-WHEEL RACING!
Single-day general admission tickets start at $39 for Friday's practice sessions, and single-day reserved seats start at $59. Three-day weekend passes start at $89 for general admission or $139 for reserved seats. Three-day dry camping passes are available and start at $150 per space.