MotoGP: Indy FP1 Notes

Casey Stoner was the lone rider in the 1:40's in the first practice seesion of the weekend on a beautiful Friday afternoon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Stoner, who is taking advantage of the new Ohlins forks that the team tested at Brno,  took over 1st on the timesheets with about 20 minutes to go in the session from Jorge Lorenzo who had dominated practice until that point. Lorenzo, resplendent in his "Iron Man" themed helmet and Fiat 500 leathers that had finally made  it through customs,  looked comfortable the entire session.

Third place man Nicky Hayden crashed heavily in turn thirteen with about 15 minutes remaining but returned on his back-up Desmosedici to turn a couple of laps at the end of the session. Hayden went down on his injured left wrist, the arm of his Alpinestars leathers heavily scuffed, and looked to be flexing the offending limb, but team management said that the Kentuckian did not suffer further injury.

Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa lanquished in mid-pack until ten minutes to go, when he went 4th, a position he held at the end of the session.  Fellow lanquisher Valentino Rossi put in his fastest lap late in the session to come fifth.

Rossi's replacement at Fiat Yamaha, Ben Spies, who floated about around the top of the sheets most of the hour, crashed in turn six with 6 minutes to go. Spies is apparently unhurt.

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Are any other Ducatis with the new fork?

Nicky mentioned that during the Brno test, that he didnt find anything particularily special about them. During the conference, he also said that - at least for the first day - he had no plans on using the new forks.

As to the Pramac duo? I'm not sure they would receive the new parts.

...and probably not the last time, I have to pose a question: Is Yamaha going to scupper Rossi's chance at a win for these last few races, by not giving him new parts as Jorge gets them?

David, I'd be very interested in knowing what you have to say about it. I've read some excellent stuff from Michael Scott (my other fave writer), and I'd be interested to know what either of you think about it. I fervently hope that they "play nice" with their marquis brand ambassador for the remainder of his stay.

Also probably not for the last time, I'll say that the story Mr. Scott wrote on Rossi's leaving (and why)...made plenty of sense. If I am allowed to do so, I'll put up a link to that story sometime. (Am I allowed to do that, David?)

Links are more than welcome! I prefer links, as the writers get the credit they deserve, rather than copying and pasting large chunks of text. 

or does Nicky Hayden seem to be crashing a lot this year in the non-race sessions? Is this the result of poor initial setups, the Ducati's mysterious front-end issues, Hayden's aggressiveness, or something else?

I hate seeing any rider getting so banged up.

I have no statistics at hand but his last drops where over the front end.

When Nicky is getting that close to the Fab4 my impression is he's taking extreme risks doing it. And you can't fool statistics, you can overstep your personal limit only so often...

When the riding style required to go fast is high corner speed, entry speeds are raised as well. Add to that TC and most of ALL crashes are going to be front end crashes.

Hayden is still using the 2010 forks (the ones that Stoner rejected), but every time he is asked about that, he says that going back to the '09 forks like Stoner did wouldn't help him much. "They didn't work out so good for me last year," is what he keeps saying. Maybe if the '11 forks work for Stoner, Hayden may be tempted to make the switch. 

I am here at the hotel just getting back from the track, points of interest: Had brunch in the hotel lobby with Fursarawa (sp) and members of the Fiat crew this morning. Shook hand with many riders: Dovi, Smith, Marquez, Bautista. The fiat garage was open during the pit walk for about 30 min then was shut, During the Q&A Edwards said he's trying to stay with tech 3. I now just read Ducati is done in WSB and I'm sure he knew it then already. Rossi gear in the Yamaha tent that tried getting 50$ for hats last yr, now has prices slashed. However Spies gear was virtually sold out by noon.

The American riders are pushing very hard, and the crashes are showing. We sit right in front of the final corner and stoners exit it very very noticable dif then the rest, his seating position getting on the gas is amazing. Rog haydens bike look like it seized in front of us and he pushed and pushed like hell with a bike that was locked up. his mechanics ran down there picked up the rear of the bike and dropped it hard!! Whatever they did unlocked it and off he went, possible locked tranny?? Hot as hell and 90's by Sun. I will post another report after we get back from the Dirt track race Sat Night.

Kevin Schwantz said that a modification that they made to the right side footpeg carrier caused the rear master cylinder to malfunction (The MC mounts to the carrier) and caused the rear brake to drag. When it heated up enough, it locked.