Nicky Hayden has hinted that he wants Ducati to retain the "big bang" engine configuration for the 2011 season after the first test of its engine options at Valencia.
The Ducati team is trying out both the big bang engine and the alternative "screamer" in this week's test. The team elected to use the easier-to-handle big bang this season over the more aggressive screamer that was used from 2007-'09. Hayden admitted to liking the screamer and said it had some advantages.
"Screamer was great fun to ride, really responsive, possibly a bit too aggressive," he said. "Around here it has extra power, but you can only really use it on the first straight and then shut it down for the corners."
He also described the screamer as "probably the best-sounding engine I've ever ridden," but added that his overall preference was still for the alternative.
"I felt better with big bang today, it was faster and more consistent," said Hayden.
Hayden completed the majority of his laps on day one using the big bang. He said there was not a vast difference between the 2011 version and the engine he had used this season.
"It was revised and improved and more reliable, it's not a new engine so to speak, but it's the same engine just refined," he said.
Having been more comfortable and successful with the big bang this year than when using the screamer Ducati in '09, Hayden's comments are likely to mean that he pushes for the big bang to be kept for 2011.
This week's sessions are also the first time he has completed a session with his new star teammate Valentino Rossi, who has just joined Ducati on a two-year contract.