Press releases from the MotoGP teams after practice on Friday at Indianapolis:
The Repsol Honda Team begins to adapt to the new asphalt in Indianapolis
The Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix kicked off this morning at the legendary Motor Speedway with Casey Stoner in second position on the time sheets, Andrea Dovizioso, seventh, and Dani Pedrosa, tenth, after the first free practice.
It was the first contact for the Repsol Honda riders with the new asphalt and the lack of grip seems to be the biggest issue with setting up the bike, although the track conditions - with a ground temperature of 32 degrees in the morning, will hopefully improve throughout the day especially after the Moto2 first practice, when more rubber is laid down on the asphalt.
CASEY STONER – 2nd 1'43.552
"This morning was a little frustrating, the track conditions weren't very good, it was very slippery and it was difficult to find any grip. It was pointless trying to find a set up with the track like this as it was worse than with the bumps in previous years. Hopefully by this afternoon there will be some more rubber laid down on the track and things will improve. We also had some issues with chattering in the hard braking corners, so we'll need to work on that in FP2".
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 5th 1'44.551
"The track was dirty this morning and it was difficult to find grip, so there was no meaning to work on the set up or test tyres. It was like riding in the wet, keeping the same tyre and taking more risks every lap. The main issue is in the rear, especially entering the corners. I'm confident that the conditions will improve, I hope so. This afternoon I would like also to try the hard front tyre as it's very hot out there."
DANI PEDROSA – 10th 1'45.192
"We have had many problems with the grip. The quality of the new asphalt is disappointing, not what a World Championship circuit deserves. There is no grip and the level is very irregular. The worst thing is the entrance of the corner; you can control the acceleration with the throttle, but entering the corner there is no traction at all. Now, all we can do is to adapt as best we can to the track because I think it will not change very much. This morning we had the same problems from the first lap to the last. Therefore, we must be smart, find the setting that allows us to go faster and hopefully with more rubber on the track, maybe the conditions will improve a little, but now it's hard to say. We have to forget this and concentrate on doing our best under these conditions".
Edwards brimming with confidence after fast start in Indianapolis
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Colin Edwards made a superb start to his home MotoGP round at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway today.
The popular Texan finished inside the top six in both practice sessions as preparations for round 12 of this year's MotoGP World Championship commenced in hot and humid conditions.
Edwards finished this morning's first 45-minute session in a fantastic third position and he was one of only two non-factory riders to lap inside the top 10. Lap times were some way off last year's pace as the field got to grips with the repaved infield section between turns five and 16.
< p style="text-align: left;">But with more rubber laid on the track, times tumbled in the second practice and Edwards was able to knock almost two seconds off his best pace. He ended with a fastest time of 1.41.699 to finish sixth on the combined timesheets, the 37-year-old once again leaving a host of factory supported riders trailing in his wake.
Edwards was just over 0.2s behind reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo in fourth and he's confident he can mount a challenge for a top six in Sunday's 28-lap race.
Cal Crutchlow was also able to drastically improve his lap times in the second session, the British rider taking full advantage of the improved grip levels to finish with a best time of 1.43.085. That was 2.3s quicker than his benchmark set this morning as Crutchlow worked on improving the set-up of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team machine, while also trying to learn the technically demanding Indianapolis Mo tor Speedway track.
Crutchlow finished in 15th position overall but was only 0.7s away from the top 10. The 25-year-old is confident with improved track conditions and further set-up modifications to gain more front-end confidence, he will be able to compete for a top 10 grid position in tomorrow afternoon's qualifying session.
Colin Edwards 6th 1.41.699 – 39 laps:
"This morning it felt like I was back at the Texas Tornado Boot Camp but just riding a more expensive bike because it was pretty slippery out there. To be honest I actually really enjoyed it even though the grip was a bit sketchy. We all knew that grip was going to be a little bit of an issue this morning but it was 100 per cent dirt track. As soon as you got your knee on the ground the front would go and the rear would come round, but I still had a lot of fun with the bike moving around so much. This afternoon with a lot more rubber down it was a lot better and hats off to the folks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They've done an amazing job because the bumps that have been really bad have mostly gone and with a bit more rubber down the surface is going to offer a lot more grip. We won't feel the benefit of the new tarmac this year but the changes are for the future and next year it is going to be a million times better. Being third this morning and sixth this afternoon has given me a lot of confidence for the rest of the weekend. I'm not fighting the bike this weekend and it feels awesome."
Cal Crutchlow 15th 1.43.085 – 39 laps:
"This morning was pretty difficult because the track was very slippery and I was having to contend with not a lot of grip while also trying to push to l earn the track. Sometimes I'd run off line and it was so dirty that I was losing a lot of time. The track was in much better condition this afternoon but it felt like I didn't have the front grip I needed to push for a faster time. We had a lot of wear on the tyre and not much grip and I'm not sure why. The issue this year has been losing the front on the brakes, but today I was losing the front mid-corner and off the throttle. I'm sure we can make some big steps with the set-up and I'm confident I can climb a few places up the order and fight for a top 10 in qualifying tomorrow. The good thing is that every single lap we make improvements and I go faster, so if we can get more front-end feeling then I'm looking forward to having a strong race."
Stoner tops timesheets in Indy as new tarmac improves throughout first day
Round 12: Indianapolis GP – Free Practice One & Two
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Friday 26 August 2011
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear (asymmetric): Hard, Extra Hard
Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner finished at the top of the timesheets after the first day of running at Indianapolis, setting a best of 1m 40.724s on his last lap of this afternoon's 45-minute free practice session.
Throughout the day the laptimes tumbled as the new tarmac improved as more rubber was laid down and the track was cleaned by the MotoGP, Moto2 and 125cc classes, plus support races. The 1.5miles of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that have been repaved in time for this event started off slippery and by the end of the morning free practice Ben Spies was at the top of the timesheets but over three seconds off last year's pole time of 1m 40.105s.
During this first session, the softer front and rear slicks were favoured for the extra grip they gave on the dirty and slippery surface. Evidence of the track's improvement as it started to rubber-in came this afternoon. As most riders switched to the harder front with the softer rear, Stoner's time was 2.5seconds faster than Spies' best of the morning. After two sessions on the new surface Stoner has lapped faster than last year's race fastest lap, and judging by the improvement in times today it should continue to get faster tomorrow.
The weather today was hot and dry, and although the fastest times were set on the harder option front slick tyre, it was the softer rear that was favoured throughout the day for its extra grip, especially beneficial on the new tarmac. Whilst Indianapolis is very demanding of the left side of the tyres, there were no issues with rear tyre durability even of the softer compound, suggesting it is a viable option for race distance on Sunday with current track conditions.
Running for the MotoGP class resumes tomorrow morning at 1010hrs local time with the third and final free practice session before the afternoon's hour of qualifying.
Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division
"We can clearly see by the times today that the new tarmac here at Indy is improving with every lap as more and more rubber is laid down and it gets cleaner; especially the infield which is rarely used. New tarmac is usually quite slippery and needs plenty of use to lose its new sheen and become less slippery. Based on today, the times will be faster again tomorrow and likely again on Sunday. Whilst our engineers visited Indianapolis after the Grand Prix at Laguna Seca earlier in the year to analyse and assess the new tarmac here, today is the first time we have run around it on MotoGP tyres so it was a relative unknown for everybody but I am generally happy with tyre performance. We experienced some rear tyre graining this morning but as the track changed this was almost no problem by the afternoon but instead with more rear grip the front tyre started pushing more. The track is changing significantly so adjusting the setup and tyre choice correctly each session is crucial but tricky and tomorrow morning's practice will be especially important."
Bautista in the top-10 at a hot and slippery Indianapolis
Publish Date: Friday, August 26, 2011
Rizla Suzuki's Álvaro Bautista achieved a solid result at Indianapolis in America today with ninth place on the leader-board to show for his hard work.
Bautista was one of the busiest riders today, as he completed 41 laps around the 4,216m circuit during the two sessions He recorded his best time of 1'42.231 on his penultimate lap and is sure that both he and the Suzuki GSV-R have more to give this weekend. Bautista worked hard with his crew to get the best of the difficult conditions at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as the newly surfaced circuit presented a whole lot of problems for all riders. The recently laid asphalt has not had much use, making it very slippery, but as the day wore on - and more rubber was laid down by the bikes from all three classes - the conditions improved, enabling Bautista to record a time three seconds quicker in the afternoon than he did in the morning.
Today's practices were held in bright sunshine and air temperatures rose to 31ºC. Current World Championship leader Casey Stoner on a Honda recorded the fastest time of the day, with reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo fourth.
Bautista will have one more practice session tomorrow morning, followed by an hour of qualifying in the afternoon, when he will be going all out to get a good grid position for Sunday's 28-lap race.
"This afternoon I was able to improve my lap-time because the track conditions were better than they were this morning. We still have some problems with turning the bike - we didn't have good grip this morning because of the new surface, so this afternoon we tried to get more grip from the rear. We changed the setting of the bike, but because the track had improved and grip was better we lost a bit more turning in the corner. Now we know the track is much better, so for tomorrow we will try another setting and I'm sure that will improve things even further. We still have a lot of work to do, but I am happy with situation at the moment. We are in ninth position and I know we can still improve quite a lot. I hope to continue with the way we have been working today and in recent weeks in tomorrow's sessions and I think we can take the bike further forward ready for Sunday."
TOP TEN FOR DE PUNIET IN THE FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE AT INDIANAPOLIS
Positive first day of work for the riders of the Pramac Racing Team. The French rider, Randy De Puniet, finished in tenth place with just over a second and a half to the fastest of of the day, Casey Stoner. His teammate, Loris Capirossi, has finished in fourteenth position but is confident for the next two days of work on the Indianapolis circuit.
Marco Rigamonti – Randy De Puniet Track Engineer
"It's been a positive day all despite the track conditions are not the best. The new asphalt track conditions changes almost at every lap, but in the afternoon, the situation seems to have improved for us. The biggest problem is that the front tire deteriorates too quickly and tomorrow we will study some solutions to help our rider."
Randy De Puniet – Pramac Racing – 10th in 1'42.339
"The best thing about today is that I don't have any more pain in my body. My back feel much better and I can now use my full body to move the bike. I am at 100% and very happy about it ! At the moment the tenth position is quite a good result but I hope to improve during the weekend. The main problem we are fighting against is the front tyre: the new asphalt is a bit hard on the tyre and we have to understand how to solve this problem otherwise it will be difficult to finish the race."
Loris Capirossi – Pramac Racing - 14th in 1'43.034
"I am quite satisfied with how we built the bike in the second session. Certainly we can still improve a lot for the upcoming practices. The grip of the tires is not the best but unlike other riders this should not be so bad. This is a positive thing that could come back to our advantage during Sunday's race."
Ben Spies Attacks the Brickyard at Indianapolis
Yamaha Factory Racing rider Ben Spies got straight down to business at the legendary Indianapolis circuit today in the first free practice sessions of the Grand Prix weekend. The Texan delivered an impressive performance in front of his home crowd, topping the timesheets in the morning session with a 1'43.260. The afternoon session saw the grip levels improve dramatically, allowing Spies to take nearly two and a half seconds off his time and record a best of 1'40.918. He led for the majority of the session, only dropping to second at the end, a mere 0.194 from provisional pole.
Jorge Lorenzo had a difficult start to the day along with the majority of the MotoGP grid, struggling to find grip on the newly resurfaced Indianapolis track. The 125cc and Moto2 classes helped to increase the grip level over the lunchtime period and some key set up changes by the team brought the World Champion out fighting in the second session. Lorenzo was straight up into the top three and was the only rider to contest the fastest spot with his team mate for most of the session. He ended the second session in fourth position, 0.737 from the front.
Position : 2nd Time: 1'40.918 Laps: 29
"I feel a lot better now, almost ok but when I'm off the bike I'm more in pain which is frustrating. It was a good start today, the first session I was waiting to see if the track was going to stay the same but in the end in the afternoon it improved a lot. We were able to be in the top three in both sessions which is great. The track is going to get even better for tomorrow so we're looking forward to making another step forward and seeing what we can do."
Position : 4th Time: 1'41.461 Laps: 27
"I started today struggling with the new asphalt. The morning was not good, but FP2 was much better and my feeling was really good. I've got grip on the rear now but I still have some problems with the front. I think we can still improve a lot in some parts. Ben is riding very, very well and it means I can be closer. I will try tomorrow to be at the same level as him."
"The second free practice was a big jump from the morning with much more grip available. We made some small changes and Jorge felt a lot better on the bike. The tyres are going down quite quickly as there is still a lot of dirt on the track so we need to find a way to ensure we can finish the race with enough grip. We compared two different set ups, one was clearly better so for tomorrow we know our direction. For today we are happy with the improvements we have made."
"It's definitely a good start today and the circuit conditions are improving. The bike behaviour is good so we are working to finalise the bike set up for Ben, overall he is happy so far. He still has a small issue with his arm but hopefully he will be ok for Sunday as he is proving that he can do a good job here. Jorge made a good improvement from the morning, the team found the right way to improve the bike. Tomorrow they will make another step and on Sunday I fully expect he will be up there."
NEW SURFACE STEALS THE HEADLINES AT INDIANAPOLIS
For better or worse the new track surface at Indianapolis has dominated conversations throughout the paddock today, with the riders struggling to find any grip at all this morning before the conditions gradually improved as the day progressed. It certainly hasn't been an easy first day for anybody, including Marco Simoncelli, who has plenty of work to do along with his team in the quest for front grip. With plenty of traction on the rear it is an interesting conundrum for the telemetry engineers to figure out alongside their counterparts from Bridgestone, who will be working hard this evening to put Marco in a stronger position tomorrow. Hiroshi Aoyama encountered similar problems today but both riders are confident of a different outcome tomorrow.
Marco Simoncelli (7th 1'41.742) "It hasn't been a particularly happy first day here. The new track surface at Indianapolis has given us some grip issues – there wasn't any this morning and maybe a little too much this afternoon. After four or five laps of the opening session the left hand side of the front tyre at full lean was completely gone, so I couldn't ride the bike as I wanted to. Now along with my technicians and the guys from Bridgestone we will sit down and try to work the problem out. It could be partly to do with my riding style or maybe down to the set-up, in particular the weight distribution."
Hiroshi Aoyama (12th 1'42.673) "The new track surface created very unusual conditions. We tried to modify the set-up after this morning's session and found a slight improvement. It is clearly still not as good as it could be so we will try and improve it tomorrow and above all find more grip."
Fausto Gresini "We have had a few problems with the new surface that has left us a little off the pace compared to recent races but I am pretty satisfied. We know we have a lot of work to do because the way the front tyre is reacting is not allowing Marco to ride as he wants but the technicians will look at all the data and I am sure they will come up with the right solutions to give Marco what he needs. Hiro's situation is quite similar so he also needs to work with the team to find a more suitable set-up."
BARBERÁ THIRTEENTH FASTEST ON OPENING DAY AT INDY
Spaniard shows good pace but struggles with frotn tyre wear in second session
A newly relaid track surface designed to iron out the problems with the previous patchwork layout at Indianapolis had the reverse effect in this morning's session, as the riders struggled to find grip on a slippery surface that ironically had an abrasive effect on the tyres. Andrea Dovizioso and Ben Spies adapted best to the conditions for the majority of the afternoon session, with Jorge Lorenzo in close attendance, until a strong late push from Casey Stoner saw the Australian on top of the time sheets overnight.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Héctor Barberá made a brilliant start to the weekend with the eighth fastest time this morning. In the afternoon he made gradual improvements, eventually clocking his best time of the day on lap fourteen of twenty with an effort some two seconds quicker than his morning's best. Front tyre wear proved to be an obstacle to further improvement towards the end of the session, meaning he starts tomorrow morning's final free practice with work to do and a target of improving on thirteenth place so far.
13º Héctor Barberá 1.42.920 (37 laps): "This afternoon's session was quite strange. We went out with a soft front tyre at the start and the carcass was moving around quite a lot, so we switched to the hard and my feeling improved a lot. It looks to be the better option but the track surface is like sandpaper and with five laps there is no rubber left on the tyre. We didn't have time to try anything else so our work is half done and I am sure we have lots of room to improve tomorrow. It has been a positive first day overall here at Indianapolis but we have work to do tomorrow, starting with the tyre pressure to see if we can get it working better and lasting longer."
Technical problems affected Karel Abraham's performance
Technical problems affected the performance of Karel Abraham in the first and second free practice for the Indianapolis Grand Prix.
Trying to find the right set-up of the Ducati Desmosedici GP11, the Cardion AB Motoracing rider had an issue with his motorcycle on the first and last lap of the first free practice.
"We tried the engine which we used during the Cardion ab Grand Prix of the Czech Republic which I did not finished due to a broken radiator," the twenty-one years old Czech rider said. "The engine stopped due to a oil cooler which was also damaged from the previous crash."
Although Karel Abraham set a best time of 1:43,528 and improved his lap time from the first free practice for 3,115 seconds, he finished seventeenth with 2,804 seconds to the fastest rider Casey Stoner. "We need to make a lot of changes, especially on the set-up of the motorcycle. Then we will see," Karel Abraham, who tried the new surface on the part of the Indianapolis circuit, continued.
"The new surface is very slippery but I believe that the grip on a new asphalt will improve over time," added.
ROSSI AND HAYDEN WORK ON GP11.1 SETUP
The hot weather and newly resurfaced track at Indianapolis made conditions very slippery this morning, which complicated work for the riders and teams on the first day of the Indianapolis Grand Prix.
Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden followed two different paths in their search for the right setup for the GP11.1, with the Italian suffering more from the rapidly improving grip as the riders cleaned the track. Both are confident of improving tomorrow.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 8th (1:41.789)
"It definitely took a few laps to feel out the new surface and get some rubber down this morning, but toward the end of the afternoon session, you could really start carrying some speed in a few corners. I have to remember that I probably need a little bit of time to understand the bike, and the team needs more time to understand which direction to work. Still, we're too far off the pace for my home track, and I certainly had hoped to be faster today. We'll just stay positive and keep working toward Sunday. The new bike definitely does some things better, but we've got to get some weight to transfer to the front so that I can get it to turn."
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 11th (1:42.405)
"This morning the track conditions were really critical. There was no grip, and it seemed like we were riding in the wet. Things improved a lot in the afternoon though, which is a sign that the asphalt is good and that it was just very dirty since it hadn't been ridden on yet. It's also a good sign for tomorrow because the conditions should continue to improve. Also, there are fewer bumps, so they did a good job. As for us, we didn't expect the grip to improve so much this afternoon and we had to chase a setup the whole session, as I really couldn't feel the bike. Tomorrow we'll completely change the balance. Nicky didn't go bad, so we'll try to improve as well: the step forward that we made at Brno is still there. We just tried a set up a little too strange since we didn't expect the conditions to change so much from one session to the next."
CAUTIOUS ELIAS HIT THE "REPAVED" BRICKYARD
Indianapolis, 26 August: Just five weeks after the first American round at Laguna Seca race track the MotoGP returns to the US this time with all three championship classes at one of the most famous racing venues in the world: Indianapolis Motor Speedway which has been recently repaved upon riders request.
LCR Honda MotoGP rider Toni Elias clocked the 16th fastest lap time (1'43.230) at today's opening free practice session trying to follow the evolution of the new surface. The Spaniard has found the new tarmac very slippery and he was cautious at his first outing here as his right feet injured in Brno test session is still aching.
Elias: "This morning the surface was terrible and we could not fine tune the bike in those conditions because of the low grip: it was like riding on the ice. Then the situation has improved in the afternoon and everybody started to drop 2/3 seconds with the same machines and same tyres. We still have some issues in the weight transfer and hard braking but we improved our pace and I am confident ahead tomorrow. I want to thank the Clinica Mobile stuff because they helped me a lot with my feet: I think I will take a painkiller injection tomorrow before the qualifying".
RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GP MotoGP POST-PRACTICE QUOTES (Friday, Aug. 26):
VALENTINO ROSSI (No. 46 Ducati Team, 11th overall): "The track is better. The grip arrived. I have some problems because I don't feel the front. It's the front. I have big trouble from the braking of the turn. The weight distribution is better. We are quite behind. For tomorrow, we have something very different to try. I am very happy about the work on the track. This morning, I was more worried. The problem was, unfortunately, nobody used the track. So the track was very dirty in the morning. But, this afternoon you can have quite a normal grip. That's a sign that the asphalt is OK. The problem is just the dirt. So tomorrow and Sunday it will be better. I think they did a good job on the bumps. If you get offline, you are in the sh*t. It's like rain. The tires are coming back because the asphalt is perfect; it's very new. Unfortunately, this afternoon, we made a mistake in the setting. But Nicky (Hayden) is not so bad. It looks like our two bikes are making a step, and tomorrow we are trying a more normal setting. I don't have grip on the front. For tomorrow, we will modify." (How hard has it been for you and Nicky to keep your cool during this tough year?): "We have to. Unfortunately, we understood quite early that the work is difficult and longer. Our mission - our target - is to try and bring back the Ducati to the same level of the Yamaha and Honda. We need time because it is long work, something quite bigger. We have to try to improve. The two bikes of me and Nicky, the new model is faster than the old one, but now we need to make other steps. At this moment, we've adjusted to 'we cannot attack - we must defend.'"
RANDY DE PUNIET (No. 14 Pramac Racing Team, 10th): "The conditions of the track weren't so good this morning. The track was very dirty and slippery. This afternoon was better, but our grip was not so good, and the problem was we destroyed the tire so quick. This is a big problem for everybody. The new asphalt is better for the bumps, but the tire and the grip is not so good. We will try to set the front tire tomorrow and hope the grip improves."
COLIN EDWARDS (No. 5 Monster Yamaha Tech 3, sixth): "This morning it felt like I was back at the Texas Tornado Boot Camp but just riding a more expensive bike because it was pretty slippery out there. To be honest, I actually really enjoyed it, even though the grip was a bit sketchy. We all knew that grip was going to be a little bit of an issue this morning, but it was 100 percent dirt track. As soon as you got your knee on the ground, the front would go and the rear would come round, but I still had a lot of fun with the bike moving around so much. This afternoon, with a lot more rubber down, it was a lot better, and hats off to the folks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They've done an amazing job because the bumps that have been really bad have mostly gone, and with a bit more rubber down, the surface is going to offer a lot more grip. We won't feel the benefit of the new tarmac this year, but the changes are for the future, and next year it is going to be a million times better. Being third this morning and sixth this afternoon has given me a lot of confidence for the rest of the weekend. I'm not fighting the bike this weekend, and it feels awesome."
CAL CRUTCHLOW (No. 35 Monster Yamaha Tech 3, 15th): "This morning was pretty difficult because the track was very slippery, and I was having to contend with not a lot of grip while also trying to push to learn the track. Sometimes I'd run off line, and it was so dirty that I was losing a lot of time. The track was in much better condition this afternoon, but it felt like I didn't have the front grip I needed to push for a faster time. We had a lot of wear on the tire and not much grip, and I'm not sure why. The issue this year has been losing the front on the brakes, but today I was losing the front mid-corner and off the throttle. I'm sure we can make some big steps with the setup, and I'm confident I can climb a few places up the order and fight for a top 10 in qualifying tomorrow. The good thing is that every single lap we make improvements and I go faster, so if we can get more front-end feeling then I'm looking forward to having a strong race."
MARCO SIMONCELLI (No. 58 San Carlo Honda Gresini, seventh): "The track is more flat than last year. We had some some bumps entering the corners, but this year they are completely flat. After the first practice, there was not much rubber on the track. It was too green, but I think the track conditions will improve with practice after practice. For sure, the track is in much better condition than last year. The course is getting a little quicker, but we had some problem with the front tire. After four or five laps, it is almost destroyed on the left side."
CASEY STONER (No. 27 Repsol Honda Team, first):"We never could get grip. Some of the bumps are gone. I'm not too sure yet of making any changes. We'll have to wait until the surface comes in. It's like riding in wet weather; you're not getting the bite. We'll see what it does Saturday. (About nearly hitting a squirrel): "I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I thought it was a piece off someone else's bike. And when I went around the corner, that (squirrel) was there. It took me awhile to get going again."
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO (No. 4 Repsol Honda, fifth): "One of the reasons is that the track is really dirty. Second, nobody has raced on this new asphalt. Tomorrow, we will improve a lot. We don't have enough time to work (Friday), to lose a session (first) like this was bad. You have just driving, to get a feeling. You can't change the tires. It's like driving in the wet: Keep the same tire and take every laps, more risk, more risk, until you are at the limit. You have to be very smooth and be free of brake to change direction. I'm confident conditions will improve a lot for the race, so that this session was not important. My career here is not so good. Our goal is to do a podium."
ALVARO BAUTISTA (No. 19 Rizla Suzuki MotoGP, ninth): "It is getting better that we have more rubber on the ground, so now it is starting to be a fine ride on the Indy track. We were improving step by step. I improved my lap time by three seconds. The bike will be better tomorrow. We have to adjust it a little, and I think (Saturday) will be a little quicker."
JORGE LORENZO (No. 1 Yamaha Factory Racing, fourth): "The track has improved, luckily. This morning was terrible. Now it seems quite similar to last year. But if you make a mistake in some corners and go wide in the dirty line, then you can crash. But if you keep the normal line, it's quite similar to last year. I'm happy for that." (Has the new surface eliminated a lot of the problems with the bumps from last year?): "A little bit. We keep having some bumps in some corners. But for sure, this year this has improved." (On tire wear): "The rear hard tire is useless. It is not possible to use it here at this track. But we don't know yet what is the best choice."
BEN SPIES (No. 11 Yamaha Factory Racing, second): "This morning was, I wouldn't say dangerous, but it was very unpredictable. But it was to be expected with the new pavement not having any rubber on it. I figured it was going to be like it was the first year when we came in. The whole track was this morning was very inconsistent. This afternoon it was much better, and I expected it to be with the rubber (laid down). We just got to keep our fingers crossed that we don't see rain. If we don't see rain, the track's going to be good Sunday. It's going to continue to get better. It was a hundred times better this afternoon." (On tire performance on the new surface): "The track's doing funny things to the tires just because it's a new surface. But that's just the way it is, and we expected it." (On the circuit, in general): "I have to give Indy props for making a racetrack inside an oval as good as it is. It's not a normal track for us. It's just a different style of racetrack for us. But we've been quick in all the years we've been here." (On what it means to race at Indy): "It's huge for the series, for sure. It's another big honor for me to race here and be an American in MotoGP. I hope they extend the contract, and next year we'd have three American GPs."
TONI ELIAS (No. 24 LCR Honda MotoGP, 16th): "This morning we had a difficult situation with a slippery track. This afternoon it improved a lot. We were much better. We got to work with setups we like. The track is coming a bit better. We make improvement Saturday; we have a good race."
MYERS IMPRESSES IN MOTOGP DEBUT
Team Suzuki Press Office - August 25.
Elena Myers made her debut on a MotoGP machine at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today as she completed a handful of laps onboard Alvaro Bautista's Suzuki GSV-R prototype machine.
Team SuzukiScoopFans rider Myers was given the chance to ride the GSV-R after chatting with Suzuki MotoGP Team Manager Paul Denning at Laguna Seca this year and was able to fulfil that opportunity at Indy today. The 17-year-old produced a superbly-confident performance on the Suzuki as she completed five laps of the 4,216m American circuit as part of the build-up to this weekend's Grand Prix at the historic track. Myers got into a smooth rhythm and managed to break the 300km/h barrier as she clocked an impressive 306km/h (190mph) down the main straight. She was watched by regular Suzuki MotoGP racer Bautista and many other Grand Prix stars as she put the GSV-R through its paces, and all were impressed with her smooth and self-assured riding style. Bautista was also on-hand before Myers took to the track to offer advice and was waiting in the pit-box as she returned his bike ready for Sunday's race.
Myers became the first female racer to win an AMA Pro road-race when she took victory at the AMA Pro SuperSport event at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma in 2010. This season Myers has recorded a podium finish at Barber Motorsports Park, plus five more top-five finishes on her way to an impressive fifth overall in the 2011 AMA Pro SuperSport West Division - despite missing two rounds due to injury.
The young American star will remain at Indianapolis for the rest of the weekend and see Bautista, the GSV-R and the rest of the MotoGP field in action during the 12th round of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship.
"Wow! I can't really say anything else; it was just such an incredible experience! I can't thank the guys at Suzuki MotoGP enough - they have been awesome! This makes me so hungry to come out here and try it someday for real on a race weekend: Well I guess this is a race weekend, but I mean for real next time. I can't say enough about the bike either; it does everything 20 times better than I ever would have imagined - this has just been amazing and I think I'll slowly realise what just happened over the next couple of days. The GSV-R just blew me away!"
Paul Denning - Team Manager:
"It was great to see Elena out on a MotoGP bike and very cool that - as the Suzuki MotoGP team - we could help her fulfil one of her dreams. At 17-years-old, and judging by her performances in the AMA Pro SuperSport championship, she has a significant amount of ability that is only going to develop as she gains experience. She treated the run today with great intelligence and maturity, but nonetheless it was impressive to see that she wasn't afraid of either the speed or the power!
"Thanks to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for helping us to make this happen, the boys for preparing the bike and to Alvaro for letting Elena use it!"