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Hayden, Ben Spies (seen here) and Colin Edwards posted three of the five quickest times at the second pre-season test in Malaysia. "Two cowboys from Texas and a hillbilly from Kentucky—three of the fastest guys in the world," grinned Hayden.

stable in fast corners; it's better when you have grip. Ducati would rather use carbon—it's more consistent and easier to make.

The new Ohlins fork is another step.

The test team tried it last year and thought about bringing it in for us to try, but we already had enough going on. Also, where the subframe bolts to the frame, there's one more mount this year. It wasn't something we asked for; the test team liked it.

These days, the test team is really important because track time is like gold to us. Normally, when you've got a good bike, you roll out on Friday and that setup works well. The more you screw with some bikes, the worse you make them. Last year at Laguna Seca, on Saturday morning, we were trying a new seat position—changing weight distribution. That's not a good sign. Same goes for the transmission: If you come by my box and we've got the gearbox out during qualifying, you know it's probably not going the way we planned it at the team meeting on Thursday.

I get on really well with Vittoriano Guareschi, our new team manager. Not having Livio Suppo in the box is a big change for us. But Vitto has a really good relationship with Ducati Corse General Manager Filippo Prezioso; they're on the phone all the time. Filippo can't come to every race due to his condition—he's in a wheelchair.

Vitto knows our bike. He's been there since Day One. He's fast, too. He's been on the podium in World Superbike races. He lost the World

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