Hayden was battling a major chatter issue in Qatar and Austin, but fortunately they discovered the problem once qualifying had ended in Austin. The culprit was a cracked wheel. But now Hayden is battling with wrist pain.
The problem at Jerez are the tires, and especially the fronts. The hard tires brought to Jerez are too soft, is the near-unanimous complaint, leaving the soft fronts usable only on the first outing of the weekend on Friday morning, to be set aside after that.
This is going to be the main problem during the race, with tire wear likely to be a significant factor. Everyone can manage six or seven laps at full chat, but after that, the performance of the front will drop off.
The rider who nurses his tire home best will win the race, most parties believe, and on the evidence so far, that will be birthday boy Jorge Lorenzo. The factory Yamaha man treated himself to pole on his 26th birthday, and judging by his pace will be a tough nut to crack in the race.
Assistance – if you can call it that – will come from the rear tires, which are also a problem for the teams. But while opinions are united on the front tire, that the hard is too soft and a harder option should have been brought, the riders are divided on what to do on the rear.