2010 MotoGP Championship – Round 11 – Indianapolis – Day One
Casey Stoner may still be looking for his first win of the season, but the Australian certainly got his Indianapolis weekend off to a perfect start. The Australian was the fastest rider in today’s opening practice with a lap time of 1’40.884, making him the only rider to dip below the 1’41s during the hour-long session.
Stoner was running with the new front fork that he tested at Brno on his Desmosedici GP10 and the result appeared to be more than positive this afternoon, as he edged championship leader, Jorge Lorenzo, for the top slot on the timesheet.
Last year’s race winner Lorenzo was quick throughout the practice session, leading until just 15 minutes before the end. The 23-year-old Mallorcan’s best time of 1’41.109 left him 0.225s off Stoner’s best as he attempts to extend his 77-point advantage in the championship standings this weekend.
Nicky Hayden, keen to impress in front of his home crowd, got off to a positive start as he set the third fastest time, before crashing uninjured in the final 15 minutes of the session. The Ducati rider returned to the track aboard his number two bike, but was unable to further improve his lap time.
Dani Pedrosa, who was in fast form at last year’s Indianapolis meeting, was fourth quickest aboard the factory Repsol Honda RC212V with a lap time of 1’41.421, just four-hundredths of a second ahead of reigning MotoGP World Champion, Valentino Rossi, who was fifth on his Fiat Yamaha M1.
The American’s were well represented in the top ten today, with Monster Yamaha Tec 3 rider Colin Edwards sixth fastest and teammate, Ben Spies, eventually finishing eighth fastest behind Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovisioso, despite a late crash that effectively ended the Texan’s practice session five minutes early.
Aleix Espargaro aboard the Pramac Ducati and San Carlo Gresini Honda’s Marco Melandri completed the top ten. Hiroshi Aoyama finished 16th fastest today, on his return to competitive action following a nine week lay-off through injury.
Scott Redding’s 22nd and final lap of the first Moto2 practice at Indianapolis on Friday placed the 17 year-old Brit at the top of the timesheet. An effort of 1’46.728 left the Marc VDS Racing Team rider 15-thousandths of a second ahead of Championship leader Toni Elías in a confidence-boosting start to his weekend.
Gresini Racing’s Elías beat title rival Andrea Iannone to second by 0.125s as the duo completed the top three, with Simone Corsi just under two-hundredths back in fourth spot and also the final rider to duck under 1’47” during the hour-long session.
Julián Simón, Stefan Bradl, Sergio Gadea and Raffaele De Rosa completed the top eight, with Gabor Talmacsi and wild card rider Jason DiSalvo inside the top ten.
Championship hopeful Thomas Lüthi was 15th with Shoya Tomizawa down in 27th as a crash affected his session. Vladimir Ivanov was another faller, whilst wild card Roger Lee Hayden overcame an early mechanical issue with his Moriwaki machine to set the 23rd best time of the day.
Championship leader, Marc Márquez, recovered from an early crash in today’s opening practice session ahead of Sunday’s Indianapolis Grand Prix to set the fastest time of the day in the 125cc class. Still nursing the dislocated shoulders sustained in a crash at Brno, the Red Bull Ajo Motorsport rider went down in the first 15 minutes of today’s session but bounced back to post a 1’49.452 lap time to secure the top spot on the timesheet.
Last year’s race winner and title hopeful, Pol Espargaró, was not far off his rival’s pace, setting a time just 0.15s off his compatriot’s best to claim second place in the opening session. 2008 Indy race winner, Nico Terol, was third fastest aboard his Bancaja Aspar Aprilia, ahead of Sandro Cortest and Bradley Smith.
Efrén Vázquez, Tomoyoshi Koyama and Esteve Rabat were all inside the top eight, with Danny Webb and Luis Salom rounding out the top ten.
Randy Krummenacher and wild card rider Kris Turner both had falls in the session, with Webb having an off track excursion at the end.
|1. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team 1’40.884
2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team 1’41.109
3. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team 1’41.405
4. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1’41.421
5. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team 1’41.623
6. Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’41.664
7. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda Team 1’41.683
8. Ben Spies (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’41.722
9. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Pramac Green Team 1’41.992
10. Marco Melandri (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini 1’42.147
11. Marco Simoncelli (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini 1’42.268
12. Hector Barbera (SPA) Aspar Team 1’42.368
13. Mika Kallio (FIN) Pramac Green Team 1’42.600
14. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1’42.696
15. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1’42.790
16. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Interwetten-Honda MotoGP 1’42.874
17. Randy de Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP 1’42.987
— Yamaha Report
The first free practice of the Indianapolis Grand Prix weekend was run in blazing sunshine at the Motor Speedway today, with Fiat Yamaha Team riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi finishing the day in second and fifth positions. The fastest time of the day was set by Casey Stoner, just two tenths ahead of Lorenzo.
Last year’s race winner Lorenzo felt confident from the outset and was at the top of the time sheets for three quarters of the session before Stoner just edged him out. The young Spaniard made some subtle tweaks to his setting to better suit the flat nature of this track and also had time to try both Bridgestone race tyres, about which he already feels confident of his direction for Sunday.
Rossi struggled a little more today, lacking grip on the bumpy surface and lacking pace as a result. He and his team will make a detailed examination of the data tonight to try to find a way to improve their setting so they are in a position to challenge for the front row in tomorrow afternoon’s qualifying session.
Both Fiat Yamaha riders are once again running the special ‘Fiat 500′ livery that was showcased in Laguna Seca earlier this season. The livery celebrates the forthcoming launch of the Fiat 500 in the United States and features the smiling faces of 500 Rossi and Lorenzo fans on each bike.
Lorenzo – Position: 2nd Time: 1’41.109 Laps: 26
“I rode really well today and improved a lot during the practice. The rear was sliding a lot, maybe because the temperature is so high; it’s a lot hotter than last year! I think the level between the top riders here is more or less the same and everyone is looking very strong. Then everyone will improve further tomorrow and we must make sure we do so as well. It will be a good battle! Finally I want to say congratulations to Ben Spies, next year he will join the Factory Team and I think it’s great news for him and for Yamaha.”
Rossi – Position: 5th Time: 1’41.623 Laps: 27
“My physical condition is much better here; I so still have some pain but it’s not too bad so I am not worried. I am feeling confident on the bike but we have to improve our setting in order to improve our pace because we are lacking some grip here. It’s not an easy track because there are a lot of bumps. We did quite a lot of work today but it wasn’t enough and the gap to the top is too much. Our target for tomorrow morning is to close this gap so that we’re in better shape to push for a good position on the grid.”
Zeelenberg – Team Manager
“This was a very nice practice session for us and we were able to try everything we needed to try. We’re quite happy to be second and the handling and balance is quite good. It’s very bumpy of course and we need to work a little bit to minimise the wheelie in places, but basically it feels good for Jorge. We also know the direction for the tyres already so this is everything we could wish for today.”
Brivio – Team Manager
“We struggled a bit today and we need to do some more work to try to find the right package for this track. We started with our standard setting and now we need to continue to try to make it work how we want. It’s just the first session so we have time. There is nothing very specific, we’re lacking some grip and so we need to make the tyre work better for us. We will have a look at the data tonight and keep on with it tomorrow.”
— Ducati Report
Ducati Team riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden made an impressive start to the Indianapolis GP today, clocking the fastest and third fastest times respectively in the first free practice. Stoner wasted little time getting to grips with the famous ‘Brickyard’ track despite missing the event here last year through illness – his fastest lap came on the 15th of 22 and made him the only rider to dip below the 1’42 mark today.
Hayden’s impressive progress was halted twelve minutes from the end of the hour when a high speed lowside sent him sliding into the gravel. The crash came moments after the local favourite had set his best time of the session, an effort that firmly establishes him as a potential frontrunner in Sunday’s race.
Casey Stoner (Ducati Team) 1st (1’40.884)
“For the first two laps I didn’t remember anything about the track from two years ago but after that it all came back pretty quickly! This is quite a unique circuit because of the different types of surface and the amount of bumps out there so we had to improvise a little today because it’s not easy to pick the right line. We made a good start but I’m sure everybody will work things out better tomorrow and close the gap. Having said that this is a good situation to be in on the first day and for the first time in a while we feel there is potential to improve. We tried the new front fork today that we tested in Brno and it felt good, although this is not the kind of circuit where you can really push so it’s hard to say if it improved the package.”
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 3rd (1’41.405)
“At the start of the session I was feeling really good and I was going quite fast on a hard tyre. When we put the soft tyre in I felt even better and maybe got a little too excited because that’s when I made a mistake. I was off line a little but I didn’t force it, I just let it go because it’s only first practice but ‘bam’! I was down immediately. It was a bummer because my suspension guy had come up with some settings that were working really good and I really liked the feel. At least I didn’t do any more damage to the wrist – all I got was a friction burn on my arm from digging it in trying to save the wrist. It’s nothing major though and after finding a good base setting today I’m looking forward to possibly trying the new forks tomorrow.”
— Repsol Honda
The Indianapolis Grand Prix weekend began in hot and sunny conditions today as the MotoGP teams rolled up the garage shutters for the first practice session ahead of Sunday’s 28-lap race. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso spent the hour-long period narrowing down the set-up options for their Honda RC212V race bikes at the 4.216km circuit, set in the spectacular surrounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Pedrosa finished the session in fourth position, with Dovizioso three places further back. Both riders are confident of improvements tomorrow.
Pedrosa initially struggled a little to find his rhythm as he searched for more rear grip in the hot conditions, before upping his pace in the latter half of the session. With the bumps and surface changes at this track presenting a particular set of problems to the MotoGP riders, Pedrosa then chose to stay out on track and work on his line in order to understand the best approach for the Indy circuit. The 24-year-old Spaniard, who was fastest in all three practice sessions at Indianapolis last year, is confident that tomorrow he can close the half second gap to today’s fast rider, Casey Stoner.
Dovizioso started today’s session by continuing the front suspension comparison work which he and his crew began at the post-race test in Brno two weeks ago. Confident he has found the right direction, the 24-year-old Italian then began assessing the Bridgestone tyre options available at Indianapolis and upped his pace in the closing minutes – setting his fastest time on his first flying lap on Bridgestone’s harder option rear. With more laps on this tyre tomorrow, Dovizioso is sure there’s more to come in the remaining two practice and qualifying sessions.
DANI PEDROSA – 4th – 1m 41.421s +0.537s
“This track is very bumpy and also you can really feel the changes in the surface, but this is no different to last year. Today the big difference was that the temperature of the asphalt was higher and this made it quite slippery. We were lacking a little traction at the rear and we also have to improve our set-up on the brakes – so this is our homework for tomorrow. At the beginning of the session I struggled to get into a good rhythm and to feel comfortable in these conditions, so in the second half of the session I stayed out on the bike to better understand the right line and where the bumps are. I tried only the softer option Bridgestone today so tomorrow I will ride with the hard one because the right tyre choice will be very important for the race of course. I think we can make progress tomorrow.”
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 7th – 1m 41.683s +0.799s
“We weren’t really going for ultimate lap times today and so I think we made a good start – tomorrow we can improve quite a lot because our lap times this afternoon aren’t indicative of our full potential. We began today with some further comparison tests between the modified forks and the fork we have been using so far this season, and this took some time, but it was important for us to understand the direction to follow. In the end we chose the existing fork. We did our best lap time with the hard option Bridgestone, but I did only one fast lap on that tyre so there’s more to come and I’m confident for tomorrow. We will continue working on the electronics set-up especially, but I’m confident we’ve found a good base.”
TOSHIYUKI YAMAJI – REPSOL HONDA TEAM MANAGER
“Today the track temperature was quite high and we started a little bit slowly as we adjusted to the levels of grip for these conditions. We need to find more traction at the rear, so this is something we’ll be focusing on for tomorrow. Dani improved in the second half of the session and with further suspension adjustments he can move up the timesheets. Andrea was working on front set-up and found a good direction today, so he too can take strides in FP2 and qualifying tomorrow.”
— Suzuki Report
Rizla Suzuki will be looking to make big improvements during tomorrow’s final free practice session after a tough first hour on the track at Indianapolis today left both riders with work to do.
Álvaro Bautista (P14, 1’42.696, 26 laps) used today’s only session to get his bearings around the 4,216m Indianapolis Motor Speedway on a MotoGP bike. Having only previously visited the circuit on a 250cc machine, he needed time to get used to the track and find his braking and accelerating points. Bautista recorded his fastest lap right at the end of the session and is in a determined mood to make personal improvements for the rest of the weekend.
Loris Capirossi (P15, 1’42.790, 24 laps) had a torrid afternoon as his first bike had a small mechanical issue that couldn’t be rectified for him to continue to use it and his other machine didn’t give him the feel he was looking for around the American circuit. Capirossi and his crew will use all the data from today to hopefully make sure the settings are more to his liking and riding style for tomorrow’s two sessions.
Today’s practise was held in warm and sunny conditions with track temperatures reaching 51ºC. Casey Stoner on his factory Ducati recorded the fastest time of the day. Rizla Suzuki has one more practice session tomorrow morning, followed by an hour of qualifying in the afternoon. Sunday’s 28 lap race gets underway at 15.00hrs local time (19.00hrs GMT).
Álvaro Bautista: “This was my first time around here on a MotoGP bike and it was very different from the 250 – especially the first corner because you go in there very fast. I used this practice very much as a learning session and to get my reference points sorted for the rest of the weekend. I need to get more rear grip from the bike because when I put on the gas in the middle of the corner I feel that the bike is sliding too much. Also the entry to the corner is not what I want, because if I enter quick I am unable to turn the bike how I want to and I lose too much time. Tomorrow we will work on these things and although we know it will be hard work I think we can improve the bike and I also know I need to improve myself as well.”
Loris Capirossi: “The best way to set-up our bike is to just keep running as long as we can and do as many laps as possible, but today on the second run on the first bike we had a bit of a problem and had to change to the other machine. Unfortunately it had quite a different setting and I just couldn’t get on with it. We will use the data we got from the runs though and it will help us to understand what we have to do tomorrow. Today has not been too good, but we are a lot more positive about things for the rest of the weekend.
Tom O’Kane – Álvaro Bautista’s Crew Chief: “We used the new chassis in Álvaro’s bike today, but we didn’t make as big a step as we expected to when we swapped to the softer compound tyre. For tomorrow we will be working a lot on rear grip because Álvaro is struggling to get the feel he wants all the way through the turns and to get the best out of the soft tyre. We are really hoping to improve the bike on corner entry, because some of the corners tighten up a lot here and we really need to make the bike turn much better. Overall though we are pleased with Álvaro’s first day at Indianapolis and now he’s got this session under his belt I am sure he will be much stronger tomorrow and for the race on Sunday.”
— LCR Honda
LCR Honda MotoGP rider Randy De Puniet clocked the 17th fastest lap time at today’s opening free practice session at Indianapolis Speedway race track which hosts the 11th round of the calendar. Sunny skies welcomed the MotoGP circus this morning (air temperature of 28 degrees) at the famous American circuit and the premier class riders joined the track at 13:55 local time to fine tune their machines ahead Sunday’s 28-lap race.
The LCR Honda MotoGP Team racer Randy De Puniet is still recovering from the left leg injury he suffered 6 weeks ago during the German GP and he also struggled with set up issues in his first outing here. The Frenchman is not a big fan of the 4.216 km race track and its layout, with 10 lefts and six rights, is taxing the limits of his conditions.
De Puniet: “Well… I am not a big fan of this track and with all these left corners is a bit hard for me. However our main issue today was the bike set up and I did not expect such a bad feeling. From the beginning we have tried to go out with the hard compound but we have been missing a lot of rear grip. I struggled in changing directions and in the entry and exit of the corners the bike slid too much. After that we made some adjustments on the bike and towards the end we lapped on soft tyre getting some improvements. But it is not enough! I am sure the guys will work hard to give me a better feeling for tomorrows sessions”.
— Bridgestone Report
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Medium, Hard. Rear: Hard, Extra Hard (asymmetric)
Ducati Team’s Casey Stoner leads the way in Indianapolis after the first practice session of the weekend, setting the fastest lap by a margin of 0.2seconds.
During the session tyre compound choices were mixed as Stoner favoured the softer option rear whilst Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo used the harder option to record the second fastest time. Almost all riders assessed both front tyre compounds during the session, and half the field tried both rear specs in preparation for their race choice. The harder front is preferable in the hot conditions this weekend because the stiffer compound performs more consistently and provides better stability at a high temperature, but rider opinion is divided on rear tyre choices with four riders in the top eight using the softer and four using the harder compound option. Assessment of rear tyre choice for the race will be the focus of teams and riders tomorrow during the second practice session and into qualifying. As the track temperature rose to a scorching 50 degrees Celsius, today was the hottest session for motorcycling’s premier class at Indianapolis since the series first visited the venue in 2008. Track conditions were good, although the bumpy nature of the circuit caused some issues.
Tohru Ubukata – Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department “Conditions today were much hotter than ever for MotoGP at Indianapolis, and in this heat the harder option front and rear slicks provide better stability and consistency. We can see that the softer rear is working well because Casey was fastest using it, but we must check its consistency over race distance in these conditions. This will be the main focus for teams tomorrow during practice and qualifying. The bumps here affect tyre stability, particularly in the front, but generally I am happy with tyre performance and I’m keen to see whether our softer rear tyre will have sufficient consistency for race distance.”