Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after the first day of practice at Indianapolis:
Spies Shines on Day One in Indianapolis
Local hero Ben Spies was quick to find his form today in the first practice sessions for Sunday’s Indianapolis Grand Prix. The Texan Yamaha Factory rider was second fastest at the end of the day, 0.295 seconds behind leader Dani Pedrosa and nearly half a second faster than team mate Jorge Lorenzo. The day started slowly with a dirty track but times soon started to drop in the afternoon as more fresh rubber was laid down.
Team-mate Lorenzo had a slower start to the day, finding the track conditions more challenging in the search for fast consistent times. The Championship leader picked up pace considerably from the morning session to finish behind Spies in third at the end of the day.
Position : 2nd Time: 1'40.078 Laps: 34
“The track definitely made a huge improvement from the morning to the afternoon today. The bike is working really well, we made some small changes then just worked on race set up. We used hard tyres for the whole time and were able to set our fastest lap and be consistent with a lot of laps on the tyres which is encouraging. We’ll try the softer tyres tomorrow to see if we can pick up some speed for qualifying but for the race set up the bike is good.”
Position : 3rd Time: 1'40.502 Laps: 31
“We were better this afternoon than this morning. We managed to get closer to the first position. I didn’t feel great on the track today so I hope we can improve the feeling for tomorrow. This track seems to be quite difficult for us to find a good set up. I’m struggling on the entry to the corners where I don’t seem to have much grip.”
“A difficult day, the grip is not as good as on other tracks but that’s the same for everybody, it just seems we struggle a little more. Normally Jorge is very consistent because he can understand a track; here at the moment the track is good in parts and then bad in parts which is quite confusing for his rhythm. Anyway we improved a lot from the morning but we need to make some more steps tomorrow.”
“We made a good start here today with Ben. There were some small difficulties in FP1 due to the tarmac condition but we were able to work and improve the balance of the bike and increase our pace with the hard tyres. This was also true at the end with a lot of laps on them. Jorge had some difficulties also with the track conditions but made big improvements over the day and we expect more from him tomorrow.”
Pedrosa laps under circuit record at Indy, Casey, fifth
The Repsol Honda Team kicked off the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix in fine form today, with Dani Pedrosa topping the time sheets on the first day of free practice with Casey Stoner in fifth position at the World famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
With heavy rainfall from the night before, track conditions were poor in the morning session. However, by the afternoon the grip level had improved considerably and both Repsol Honda riders made progress with their bike set up. Dani took the biggest advantage of the better conditions, lapping 2.4 seconds quicker than the morning session with a 1'39.783 - faster than the circuit record of 1'39.807 set by Casey here in 2011.
Casey, the fastest in FP1, also improved his lap times by 1.3 seconds in the afternoon, but late in the session he experienced an issue in the rear of the bike which is still being investigated and prevented him from setting a faster time than 1'40.623, placing him in 5th at the end of day one.
DANI PEDROSA 1st 1'39.783
"This afternoon the track was a little better than in the morning and we were able to improve our lap times quite a lot and also try the hard tyres, which worked much better than the soft specification we tried this morning. As we saw today, the times will keep dropping during the weekend with more rubber on the asphalt, so we have to continue working hard on the bike. We found a good base today to move on from; we can improve every area still, focusing especially on the suspension and electronics and also care about the tyres because it's very hot out there and the tyres dropped off very quick".
CASEY STONER 5th 1'40.623
"We tried a couple of things this morning but with the track being so slippery we didn't really take anything from it. This afternoon we knew what we wanted to try after the morning session but unfortunately we had some issues with the bike. We had a problem with electronics on one exit and then a strange feeling in the rear on a later exit, perhaps a stone got into the chain or something, we're not sure yet. Due to the fact we couldn't identify what the problem was, we decided to use the second bike and I only managed a few laps. A slightly disappointing afternoon and we know what we want to work on tomorrow morning".
Ducati Team works to improve turning
Today the Ducati Team started its preparation for the Indianapolis Grand Prix, which will take place on Sunday at legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
A long rainstorm last night reduced the asphalt’s grip level, though conditions improved steadily throughout the day. In the afternoon, both Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi were considerably faster than they had been in the morning, lapping at around the pace of the second group.
For both riders, the goal for tomorrow is to improve the bike’s handling in corners and to reduce the gap to the front.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 9th (1:41.397)
“It’s nice to be back with the team and on the bike. This morning things went pretty well. With the rain last night, it took a while to dry out the track and get some rubber down, but we got going okay. This afternoon we tried a couple of things, but we didn’t make a big step like we had hoped. We got some more grip in the rear, but then we started to push the front worse. We improved by a second, but everyone else improved a lot more. Some of these corners are really connected, and it’s important to get the bike to turn, because if you mess up the first one, the problem gets exaggerated. We need to understand why we’re having this issue and hopefully do a good step tomorrow.”
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 10th (1:41.529)
“We lowered our time by two seconds in the afternoon because the track’s grip was improving lap by lap, and I think we’ll see the same tomorrow. The feeling of riding is better compared to last year, but we’re still having a very hard time with corner entry, especially in the lefthanders. We’re also losing a lot on the exits of the two slow corners. This afternoon, I used the same hard tyre the whole time in order to check its performance after many laps, because I don’t think it will be possible to do the whole race with the soft. Anyway, tomorrow we’ll try it. We have a number of things to sort out, but the second group isn’t far off.”
Dovizioso and Crutchlow make positive start at iconic Indianapolis
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow slipped seamlessly back into fast form after the MotoGP summer break to clock competitive times inside the top six at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway today.
Torrential rain that fell during severe thunderstorms yesterday meant track conditions were far from ideal in this morning's opening practice session, with a lack of grip resulting in lap times that were over two seconds off record pace.
Dovizioso was 1 1th fastest this morning but he took full advantage of significantly improved conditions this afternoon to challenge for the top three throughout the second 45-minute session.
The Italian rider was a massive 3.2s faster with more grip available and his best time of 1.40.560 put him fourth on the combined timesheets. He was only 0.058s outside of the top three and is confident with further improvements to the race set-up of his YZR-M1 machine that he will be a podium contender in Sunday's 28-lap race.
Crutchlow finished seventh this morning but he was a victim of the treacherous conditions when he fell heavily off his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine having inadvertenly run over a damp patch that remained from yesterday's heavy rain. The British rider was unhurt in the spill and he bounced back superbly to claim a place inside the top six after posting a best time of 1.41.055. That was over two seconds faster than his opening practice best of 1.43.295.
Andrea Dovizioso 4th 1.40.560 – 40 laps:
“I'm really happy with my rhythm this afternoon because this morning the track was unbelievable. There was absolutely no grip and it was very difficult to try and understand the feeling from the bike or where the limit was. I improved by more than three seconds from this morning so it shows how bad the conditions were. But we expected this because it's always like this here. The infield track we race on is not used during the whole year, so it's quite dirty. And yesterday's rain certainly would not have helped. We made some good changes to the bike for the second session but we need to improve our pace again tomorrow. Ben was able to do some very consistent laps and he is the benchmark for Yamaha so far. I can look forward to tomorrow though with a lot of confidence and I'm sure I can be fighting to be on the second row at least. If we can find some more grip, particularly on corner entry, then we should be very competitive tomorrow.”
Cal Crutchlow 6th 1.41.055 – 36 laps:
“I am pretty happy to finish sixth overall on the first day because I had a big crash this morning and it could have been much worse. Fortunately I wasn't injured but there were a few damp patches still on the track after the storms from yesterday but it was really hard to see them. I took a big hit on the left side of my body but I was able to recover well and ride strongly this afternoon. We made some good changes to the bike that gave us some more grip but it was obvious this morning the track wasn't in great condition when you look at how slow the lap times were. I used the same hard rear tyre for the whole session and we gained a lot of valuable information that will help for Sunday's race. I did my fastest lap on the last one, which is a really good sign and bodes well for the rest of the weekend.”
Pedrosa quickest on first day of Indy action
Round 11: Indianapolis Grand Prix – Free Practice One and Two
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Friday 17 August 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Extra-hard. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Weather: FP1 - Dry. Ambient 22-23°C; Track 30-34°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP2 - Dry. Ambient 25-26°C; Track 42-48°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa was the quickest rider in Friday practice at Indianapolis, the Spaniard being the only rider to break into the 1’39 bracket on a green track surface that provided a stern challenge to the 23 riders contesting this weekend’s Indianapolis Grand Prix.
Pedrosa’s time of 1’39.783 was 0.295 seconds quicker than hometown hero Ben Spies, the Yamaha Factory Racing rider showing his prowess at a circuit that has yielded him two podiums in the last two years. Third quickest today was Spies’ teammate Jorge Lorenzo who clocked a best time of 1’40.502.
The circuit was lashed by heavy rain yesterday afternoon which washed away the little rubber that was laid down during a test on Saturday by the wildcard entries taking part in this weekend’s Indianapolis Grand Prix. Consequently, lap times in this morning’s FP1 session were quite slow as riders adapted to the low grip levels, with Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner topping the session with a time of 1’41.925.
Track conditions for FP2 were better with improved grip levels as the circuit rubbered in, and track temperatures reached a peak of 48°C. Tyre choice varied greatly throughout the day, with softer compounds front and rear preferred in FP1, though as track temperatures increased in the afternoon session tyre preference switched to the harder rear slicks front and rear, however some riders still preferred the feel of the softer slick options.
The next MotoGP session is FP3 at 1010 local time (GMT -4) followed by the one hour qualifying session which kicks off at 1355.
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Today was a challenging day for the riders as the track was green for FP1 so the pace was quite slow as riders assessed the grip levels. As track conditions weren’t the best this morning, most riders preferred the better edge grip and warm up performance of the softer slick options, but as more rubber was laid on the circuit, the pace began to quicken and many riders switched to the harder slick options front and rear. As was the case last year, we noticed that some riders experienced graining on their rear tyres in the practice sessions, though as the tarmac condition improved throughout the day the graining became less. Track conditions tomorrow should improve again so this should give the teams a good opportunity to perform long runs to help decide which combination of tyres works best for them.”
BRADL AIMS FOR BETTER PACE AFTER FIRST OUTING AT INDINIAPOLIS SURFACE
Indianapolis, 17th August: the second half of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship kicks off today at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the MotoGP contingent back in action for the first day of practices which saw Stefan Bradl setting the 7th fastest lap time (1’41.255).
The majority of riders initially headed out on track slightly gingerly as a few damp patches from earlier rain were still visible in this morning first session but the track conditions improved for the 60-minute afternoon session with German rookie taking to the Indianapolis track for the first time on his Red Bull branded RCV no.6. Bradl.
Bradl: “We all knew that it would have not been so easy today because the infield was very dirty and the tarmac did not provide very good grip condition. So at this point it was not easy to work on the bike finding the proper set up especially when you have to struggle with the tyres. This situation made my first outing here even more difficult but in general we are not far from the top group and from our standard pace. Actually we must improve the rear feeling entering the corners and I think we will be capable to improve our pace for tomorrow’s qualifying”.
INDIANAPOLIS GP: THIRTEENTH TIME FOR PASINI IN FREE PRACTICE N. 2
The Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix kicked off today, with the first two free practice sessions for MotoGP.
In the morning, the track conditions didn’t offer too much grip to the riders in the top class. Pasini and his crew worked on the ART machine suspensions, ending with the fifteenth time.
In the second session of free practice, some initial changes to the set-up were arranged, in order to achieve a more effective performance of the CRT on the american track. Mattia set the time of 1'42.290, grabbing a great thirteenth spot (second fastest CRT).
Mattia Pasini #54 - 13th with 1'42.290
“I’m really happy with this first day. Since this morning the bike was working well and, step by step, we sorted out some improvements to adapt the setting to this track. We need to keep working in this direction in order to face at the best tomorrow’s sessions, we know that the other CRT machines are fast, but we’ll do our best to try and get some positive results.”
Karel Abraham 12th after first day at Indianapolis
12th fastest time achieved Karel Abraham on Friday´s free practices for Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Czech rider lost 2,496 to the fastest rider of day Dani Pedrosa. Indianapolis is second race for Karel after he had get back on track after hand injury suffered in Aragon tests.
“After first day I must say that I´m quite happy. We are getting back to the time before my injury. We have good set up with only few problems. We compared our data to Nicky´s bike and we know where we are losing and theoretically how to improve it. The quest is to do it tomorrow on the track. I must say that everybody were riding very hard even if it is „only“ Friday. I´m looking forward to Saturday.”
Marco Grana, Cardion AB Motoracing chief mechanic
“In first morning session we tried to get back to set up of the bike, which we had used before Aragon crash. The track was wet and we had problems in exiting corners. Karel´s feeling on the bike wasn´t good. In the afternoon the temperature went up and we could use hard tyres. It was much better and after the second session, we are satisfied. It´s important, that everything is under control and we are on the way to get back to group. Our target is get back to situation before Aragon crash.”
POSITIVE FIRST DAY AT INDY FOR TEAM SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI
Team San Carlo Honda Gresini's two riders were smiling again today after rediscovering the confidence they have been lacking in recent races. After a tricky first outing this morning due to the track conditions Alvaro was able to build his confidence in the afternoon and find a good setting ahead of tomorrow's qualifying session. Michele was able to enjoy himself and push hard again, giving him the opportunity to make progress with the CRT bike here at Indianapolis tomorrow.
Alvaro Bautista (7th 1’ 41” 055) “Today I felt like I had my feeling from before Mugello and Laguna back. We tried two different settings and worked hard, especially in the afternoon because the track conditions were not so good this morning. In the end we went with our base setting because I felt more comfortable with it. I tried to get my references and find the limit on the hard tyres and I am quite satisfied. Now we have to keep this positive progress going tomorrow to perform to our full potential.”
Michele Pirro (16th 1’ 41” 761) “The conditions were a little difficult this morning but they improved for the afternoon and we worked hard on improving the electronic problems we have had in recent races. We have taken a small step forward and we are not too far behind the top CRT so I am confident for tomorrow and if we can take another step I think we can soon get back to the level we showed at Assen. Finally today I was able to start enjoying myself on the bike again so I hope we can continue like this.”
Fausto Gresini “I am happy to see the riders and the guys in the team with a smile on their face again. Alvaro has got his confidence back and he looked decisive and determined, like he was before Mugello. If we can continue in this way we can get back up to the positions that count. Michele was also able to push hard and that gives me a lot of pleasure. He has got his feeling back so with a few small changes we can make some improvements tomorrow.”
DE PUNIET LEADS CRT BIKES ON MOTOGP'S RETURN TO ACTION
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider Randy De Puniet eleventh, two seconds off the top, with teammate Aleix Espargaró fourteenth
Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa were the riders to beat at Indianapolis on Friday, topping the morning and afternoon standings, respectively, on day one at The Brickyard. Overnight rain made track conditions tricky for all three classes, with the asphalt dirty and slippery despite drying out over the course of the day. 23 riders were in action in the premier class today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway -the biggest showing of the year so far. The negative point was Héctor Barberá's crash in the morning that left him with three fractured vertebrae on his return to competition -26 days after suffering a double fracture to his leg.
The POWER ELECTRONICS riders were again the top CRT participants. Randy De Puniet was the quickest of the new class of bike, placing eleventh overall. He lost time in the morning when a Stone became stuck in his tyre, but was stronger in the afternoon with a 1'41.855 lap -two seconds off the top spot.
Teammate Aleix Espargaró also made a solid start, finishing the day in fourteenth. The Spaniard suffered a little with the difficult track conditions, but was nonetheless satisfied.
11th Randy De Puniet 1.41.855 (39 laps): "The first session was difficult and in the middle of it I felt that the bike was very heavy and feeling strange on the front. I decided to stop and found a small stone lodged in the tyre. Things went better in the afternoon, as we tried out various electronic settings to improve our engine braking and I immediately felt more comfortable. I rode for fifteen laps on the hard tyre then tried the soft tyre. I am happy, because both my feeling and my times improved considerably from the morning. We were only two seconds off the top, which is pretty decent when you consider how long the straight at Indianapolis is."
14th Aleix Espargaró 1.42.360 (36 laps): "I am much happier than I was at Laguna Seca and the feeling here onboard the bike is notably better. We lost a little time this afternoon trying a few things out with the second bike, which we had to do because it was not working as well as the number one machine. Maybe I was missing a fast lap for the day, but in general I am happy and think that we did a good job today. The track conditions today were a little hairy, as you would slide around a lot and it was dirty on the majority of the asphalt. That made keeping up a steady pace very difficult. Fortunately, things improved as the day went on. Despite this, you have to ride with a lot of care."