News 27 Aug 2011

Unhappy Stoner tops Indianapolis MotoGP times on Friday afternoon

Australia's Casey Stoner was fastest on Friday at the Indianapolis MotoGP round.

Australia's Casey Stoner was fastest on Friday at the Indianapolis MotoGP round.

The MotoGP class set off on the newly resurfaced Indianapolis circuit under sunny skies and high temperatures on Friday as the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix got underway.

It was 27-year-old Yamaha Factory Racing rider Ben Spies who led for the majority of the afternoon practice session and his best time of 1:40.918 was an improvement of over two seconds from his earlier FP1 time, as the entire category improved significantly on their morning session efforts as grip levels stepped up.

Spies’ time was not enough to stay in front of Repsol Honda rider Casey Stoner however, whose time of 1:40.724 was fastest of the day and placed him top of the timesheet.

“This afternoon the track was slightly better and of course the lap times improved with more bikes on track and cleaning it up, but I’m still not comfortable on this surface,” Stoner admitted. “It’s incredibly slippery and the track is certainly my least favourite of the whole season.

“It’s very tight, slippery and the new surface is pretty bad, it’s not just the dirt on the surface but there seems to be something strange where the two surfaces join, some grease of some sort that creates more issues. With this said, we couldn’t find too much with the bike, we made a small step this morning and a small step this afternoon but we’re struggling to get a good feeling in the bike.

“We tried the harder front this afternoon which gave us good feedback and we were able to go a little bit faster, but in general the track needs to improve before we can know what direction to go in and I just hope the conditions impro ve for the race.

“My last few exits were slightly ruined from traffic on track and also wildlife… I saw something out the corner of my eye, I’m not sure what it was perhaps a gopher or something, I thought it was a part from someones bike, I’m just glad we both escaped from that situation unharmed!”

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) who won last year’s Indianapolis GP, followed Spies in third with a time of 1:41.205. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) also moved up significantly in the second practice outing, bettering his time by over three seconds to slot into fourth position.

Andrea Dovizioso was fifth quickest in FP2 with a best time of 1:41.536, 0.163s ahead of Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in sixth.

Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) finished in seventh with a best time of 1:41.742, followed by Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) in eighth aboard the fastest Ducati, Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) ninth and Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) 10th.

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) improved on his FP1 time by just under two seconds but it was not enough to keep him within the top ten times, moving the Italian into 11th for the day.

Click here for detailed results