Dani Pedrosa has taken a commanding lead at Indianapolis, topping the second session of free practice for the MotoGP class in the afternoon, and smashing the race lap record along the way. Pedrosa led by over a second for much of the session, with Ben Spies the only rider to get within half a second at the end of FP2. Factory Yamaha teammate and current championship leader Jorge Lorenzo was 3rd fastest, just ahead of Tech 3's Andrea Dovizioso, though both men were over seven tenths slower than Pedrosa.
Sandro Cortese picked up the pace in the second session of practice for the Moto3 class, heading up FP2 on Friday afternoon. Cortese took over from his Red Bull KTM teammate Danny Kent, who topped the morning session, while Miguel Oliveira took 3rd, fractionally ahead of Maverick Vinales on the FTR Honda.
Pol Espargaro topped the first session of practice for the Moto2 class at Indianpolis, snatching top spot from Marc Marquez right at the very end of the session, Espargaro and Marquez had swapped fastest times for much of FP1, with Espargaro's teammate Tito Rabat taking over a couple of times during the session, but in the end, Espargaro took a clear lead over Marquez, with Andrea Iannone squeezing ahead of Rabat to take 3rd.
Casey Stoner has topped the first session of free practice at Indianapolis for the MotoGP class, leapfrogging over his teammate Dani Pedrosa to make it a one-two for the Repsol Hondas in FP1. Stoner and Pedrosa swapped fastest times for most of the session, while Ducati's Nicky Hayden got his home GP off to a strong start to take 3rd spot.
Danny Kent was the fastest man of the first session of practice at Indianapolis, topping the Moto3 timesheets after heavy rain had fallen overnight. The young Briton just held off the Australian Jack Miller, while Jonas Folger made a strong debut on the Kalex KTM, taking 3rd spot some four tenths off the pace of Kent. Folger switched from the IODA to join the Mapfre Aspar after Mugello, and the difference is immediately obvious.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway issued the following press release, containing a full transcript of the pre-event press conference. In it, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo react to the news that they will be teammates at Yamaha next year, Casey Stoner clarifies the interview that appeared recently containing comments on Rossi's time at Ducati, and Nicky Hayden talks about the possibility of having Andrea Dovizioso as his new teammate.
2012 RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GP PRESS CONFERENCE
So what are we to make of Valentino Rossi's not-so-shock decision to leave Ducati and go back to Yamaha? The initial reaction from fans and media was that the biggest losers from the move are Ducati as a manufacturer and Rossi's reputation as miracle worker when it comes to bike development. There is some merit in both those arguments, but perhaps it is not quite so clear cut as that. Rossi's two years at Ducati have done a lot of damage to both parties - as well as to MotoGP's popularity and TV income - but in the end, this move could have some very positive long-term repercussions.
In the soap opera that is Liberty Racing's World Superbike season, the team has confirmed that they will be missing the Moscow round, as suspected yesterday, but they stated that they are commited to racing at the following round at the Nürburgring. In what looks like focussing all their efforts on as many resources as possible for next year, it looks like they are writing this year off.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway public relations office, unquestionably among the best in the world, are hard at it promoting this weekend's Red Bull Indianapolis GP. As part of their efforts, they today issued a press release interview with Yamaha Factory rider Ben Spies. The Texan talks about his season so far, his decision to leave Yamaha, and his interests outside of motorcycle racing. The interview appears below:
TEN MINUTES WITH ... BEN SPIES
MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We will be featuring sections of Oxley's blogs, posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website, over the coming months.
Press release previews from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone ahead of this weekend's Red Bull Indianapolis GP:
HECTOR IS MAKING HUGE PROGRESS DURING HIS LEG'S REHAB
Yesterday, three weeks after having his left leg operated on to rebuild both the fibula and the tibia, Héctor Barberà was back at the Instituto Universitario USP Dexeus, in Barcelona.
This time, fortunately, it was only to submit Héctor to a medical examination made by Doctor Xavier Mir, the specialist who carried out the operation on Hector’s leg, to evaluate the progress of the patient.
Press release previews from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams and Dunlop ahead of this weekend's Indianapolis GP:
FROM ITALIAN CHAMPIONSHIP TO INDIANAPOLIS FOR ANTONELLI
Troubled World Superbike team Liberty Racing are rumoured not to be running their three riders at the next race at Moscow Raceway. Italian outlet Omnicourse reports that the three Liberty riders, along with Team Grillini, are missing from the entry list and will not be racing. With all of the troubles Liberty Racing is going through, it wouldn't come as a surprise if they were indeed pulling out of the next race, or indeed the rest of the season.
The Motorland Aragon circuit is seeking a 15% cut in the cost of organizing the Aragon round of MotoGP. According to the regional newspaper El Periodico de Aragon, the government of the autonomous region of Aragon, who finance the circuit, are in an advanced stage of negotiations with Dorna to cut the sanctioning fee for the event.