WSBK: Red Bull Honda’s Nicky Hayden Loses Entire Practice Session To Mechanical

‘It came, how do you say in America? … unstarted. Honda

This just in from Honda WSBK

Red Bull World Superbike Team looking for improvement after opening day at Assen
Dutch Round

The Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team has completed the first day of action at the TT Assen Circuit, where the fourth round of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship is currently underway. Stefan Bradl and Nicky Hayden were thirteenth and fourteenth, respectively, in the combined times of today’s two free practice sessions. Therefore, both riders must try and make their way through Superpole 1 in order to join the qualifying battle for the first four rows of the grid.

After crashing unhurt in the final stages of free practice 1, Bradl was able to improve his performance on board the new Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 as he lapped more than eight tenths of a second faster in the afternoon session. The 27-year-old German rider was only 0.189secs away from a top-10 finish, which would have guaranteed him access to Superpole 2.

The day started off well for Hayden, who was sixth at the end of the FP1 and 0.8secs away from the fastest time of that session. Unlike his team mate, however, the 35-year-old American was unable to improve his times in the afternoon – due to a technical issue during Free Practice 2 which limited his track-time – meaning that the 1’36.512secs lap set in the morning turned out to be his quickest of the day.

World Superbike action will resume tomorrow at 8:45am local time (GMT +2) for the 25-minute Free Practice 3 session, followed by Superpole 1 (10:30) and Race 1 (13:00).

Stefan Bradl 6

13th / 1’36.459

This morning we went out with the new spec engine but we had a few issues that required some extra work. We were able to sort them out for the afternoon session, but we now have to work on the feeling at the rear end of the bike, which is not quite there at the moment. Clearly that’s not the way we wanted to start the weekend, but hopefully we’ll be able to make some more progress tomorrow.

– Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team

Nicky Hayden 69

14th / 1’36.512

This morning I was able to make some decent lap times and, considering the fact that we were not using the soft tyres, things were looking promising for the afternoon. Unfortunately, we lost the whole session due to some issues with the clutch and engine braking. It’s a shame, really, because FP2 is the only session when you can work with similar conditions to the race. The team is now investigating, so the goal is to come up with a good plan for tomorrow.

– Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team

Pieter Breddels

We were happy to see Nicky in the top 6 this morning. He rode well and was not too far away from the front runners. We were hoping to improve again this afternoon, but unfortunately we experienced some issues – which we are now investigating – and he had to sit out the whole session. Stefan had quite a difficult time this morning in trying to find the feeling with the bike, and this afternoon he was able to make up some ground, but he’s still not fully comfortable. We are going to work overnight and we will use all the track-time available tomorrow in order to come up with some changes and be prepared for qualifying and the race.

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