Thursday, October 23


Nicky Hayden leads local GP riders down the boulevard in front of the office of the Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in Putrajaya, the administrative centre of Malaysia.

Before heading to the Sepang International Circuit for this weekend’s Shell Advance Malaysian Grand Prix, Nicky Hayden caused a stir on the streets of nearby Putrajaya.  The 2006 World Champion kick-started the weekend in energetic fashion, accompanied by a number of Malaysian riders.

With Malaysia hosting the penultimate round of the 2014 FIM MotoGP World Championship, Hayden dazzled all as race fans flocked on Wednesday morning to Putra Jaya, the federal administrative centre of Malaysia.

Crowds flocked to watch, helped by the fact that October 22 is a public holiday in Malaysia, marking Diwali, also known as Deepavali, or the Festival of Lights, the beginning of the Hindu New Year.  It is celebrated on the 15th day of Kartika (October/November) in the Hindu calendar and the fact it is a public holiday in majority Muslim Malaysia serves as a reminder of religious tolerance.

The American rider enjoyed the privilege of riding his Honda along the streets of the city centre, side-by-side with Malaysian Moto2 rider Azlan Shah along with his Moto3 counterparts Zulfahmi Khairuddin, Hafiq Azmi and wildcard Hafiza Rofa.

“To ride the wide streets and avenues of Putrajaya has been an amazing experience!” said the Drive M7 Aspar rider.  “Of course, I couldn’t ride at the kind of speeds I will manage at Sepang, but the turnout from the local fans was awesome.  This will be my 12th MotoGP race start in Malaysia.  After finishing tenth in Australia last weekend, I’m now just looking forward to arriving at Sepang for what is a big weekend for myself, the team and our title sponsor.  I hear a big crowd is expected!”

Following the street demonstration, American Hayden and his Malaysian counterparts were quizzed by the media in a press conference before heading to Sepang ahead of Free Practice.  Also present were Malaysian stars of the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup, with its inaugural season set to meet its climax with a double-header at Sepang this weekend.

The first World Championship track action will begin at 9am local time on Friday (2pm New Zealand time), with Sunday’s MotoGP race commencing at 4pm local time (9pm New Zealand).