Hayden joined the official Ducati Test Team during the final two days of a three-day test at Mugello in an attempt to make up for lost time due injuries which seriously curtailed his winter testing season. Hayden, despite his lack of winter training has adapted to the new GP12 far quicker than fellow Ducati Team rider Valentino Rossi and must have been hoping the additional sessions would improve his chances of closing the gap on the front runners.
The conditions alternated between sunny skies and heavy rain for the two days, but both riders nonetheless did their best to take advantage of the nicer moments by trying both dry and wet settings.
Day one had Nicky Hayden and official test rider Franco Battaini spending more time in the garage than on track as the changing weather effected the schedule.
Unfortunately day two threw up a whole new set of problems as the turned cold and windy which coupled with the rain made testing all but impossible. Nicky Hayden's fustration was obvious as the team had sent the GP12 across accompaned by his full pit team.
"We came here looking to make up time lost due to my missing the Valencia test and having limited time at the Malaysia and Jerez tests, but it was pretty much a wash," "It’s a shame because Ducati gave me the opportunity to come and had a race-spec GP12 here, along with my whole team. Yesterday we made two exits with slicks and also did a bit of riding in the wet, but today the conditions were wet but also cold and windy, completely unmanageable. With two back-to-back races coming up, there wasn’t much to be gained by risking testing in the wet. I’ve learned during my career that you can’t control the weather, so there’s no need to complain. We’ll just look forward to the race at Jerez."
Filippo Preziosi - Ducati Corse General Manager
"We had very unstable conditions at Mugello," said . "We tried to optimize our work by doing some setup tests with Nicky, including some rain settings, given that he rode so little during the first two winter tests. With Franco, particularly on the relatively nice first day, we started doing some tests that will be useful for preparing updates for Vale and Nicky to try during the post-race test in Estoril. I really hope we get sunny weather in Portugal!"
Ducati Team to Matt Shine