Nicky Hayden

And also the challenge. Yeah, it's going to be a big challenge to beat that guy on the same bike, same garage, but, you know, that's...I need to stand up if I want to be heard and not be brushed aside. I'm going to have to make some noise. So, I mean, obviously there's going to be things he's probably going to get, I'm not. I want to believe I'm going to get the same equipment and I hope that's the case and it's up to me to take it from there. Did it surprise you that they're putting this much effort into a bike for one year?

It's not going to be an all-new bike. They're already working on 2012. So, yeah, they're upgrading it, but I can't say. you know, it's not like we've seen it - those wings [on the fairing] we were running last year. Everything, it's the same basic en

gine right now. It's not a lot different. But they got to. they brought him here. If you're going to ask him to cook, like [former football coach Bill] Par-cells said, you at least let them pick their groceries. I mean, sure they have to make some requests for him. I'm sure that was part of the deal. What would you like to change?

I would like to make the front [give] more feedback. My feeling is the front is too stiff. It needs to be softer and even in the swingarm. I mean, since I've gotten here. that's one thing I hope me and Vale will be closer than me and Casey [Stoner]. He always, he liked stiff. He wanted it stiffer and stiffer. And then last year, before the start of the season when I got a softer swingarm that I wanted, it was a big help for me. So I want to go that way again. Turns out Casey liked it once he tried it. But, you know, those are the two big areas. Rossi was saying it was a brutal bike. You have to ride it with claws.

Yeah, I wouldn't say he's far off there. I think it's a lot mellower than it was two years ago. I mean, the big-bang engine has made it much softer and we got rid of the pumping. That was the thing that was so hard when I got on it, on the exit was just pumping all the time. Once we solved that... I think now it's, truthfully, a more consistent bike, a more normal bike. But you still got to hold on tight sometimes and let its head move a little. When the front goes away, is it like the old Michelins when there's just no warning?

Well, I don't know the old Michelins. They had that fixed when I got there. You never say in that corner 'I was pushing the front pretty good or the front's pushing there.' It's 'the front pushed and I was down.' I mean, you can show 'em on your elbow; 'I don't know how I saved it.' You know, a lot of times this year I had to put new sleeves on leathers, not a lot, but I had three or four elbows down and saved it. Talking about the electronics, all the riders want them banned, but the engineers say they can't. So accepting that they're staying, are there any electronics that you'd like to see more of?

We're going to have, and I think Valentino wanted it, was wheelie control. We're working a lot more for a more advanced system. In the past we didn't really have a very advanced wheelie-control system. Actually, when I came from Honda that was one thing that surprised me. There wasn't a real, I wouldn't say, good strategy for it. They're working for it next year. They can figure it out. It should be definitely working in a better way. This way, instead of just managing wheelie with the power, we can actually manage the wheelie with the wheelie, so it can have more variables lap to lap when you actually have wheelie and not just reduce the power every lap in one place.

How do they do that? You can have a wheelie when you want to or you can accept a bit of wheelie?

Well now a lot of times when we're having wheel-ie we just reduce the power in that corner in that spot. But some laps you need the power. If you get a really good drive and for whatever reason the weight is a little bit different, you know, you don't wheelie, so you want the power. But sometimes as the race goes on or the tire goes off and you find yourself being more aggressive trying to get the traction, then you have more wheelie, so that's where you need the wheelie control. Big bang, screamer, would you like to see the other engines come back ever? Do you want a different engine for different tracks ever?

Well, I mean with six engines, once the season starts that won't work. They want to send them to Malaysia just in case we have time to try 'em at a different track, because Valencia's quite unique.

Preston Tilford - Vance&Him

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