Valentino Rossi found something to like at the first free practice on the newly resurfaced Indianapolis Motor Speedway Friday morning. Rossi’s 1’34.535 put him three-hundredths clear of Bradley Smith who, like Rossi, saved his fastest lap for the end of the humid session. Andrea Iannone, who had topped the timesheet with one minute to go, was relegated to third in the tightly bunched field
Pol Espargaro managed fourth, slightly more than one-tenth of a second behind the leader. Marc Marquez, who held a dominant lead midway through FP1, found himself pushed into fifth at the session's end, slightly faster than Jorge Lorenzo (6th) who sits half a second shy of his teammate.
Nearly all of the riders set times significantly faster than last year. Not only was the infield track resurfaced, it also was slightly redesigned to add flow and better connect the corners. The result shaved roughly three seconds a lap on average.
Rossi led much of the early session only to be supplanted by Marquez with a little less than half the session remaining. With seven minutes to go, Rossi lagged six-tenths behind the championship leader with Lorenzo nearly a full second back.
Then Rossi struck, dropping his lap times into the high 1'34s and grabbing the top spot. But he held it only briefly as Iannone's answer of a 1'34.579 put him in the lead. The time appeared likely to stick until the session's final lap when both Rossi and Smith grabbed the top two spots at the checkered flag while Marquez could find no improvement.
|Pos.||No.||Rider||Bike||Time||Diff. / Prev.|
|2||38||Bradley SMITH||Yamaha||1'34.569||0.034 / 0.034|
|3||29||Andrea IANNONE||Ducati||1'34.579||0.044 / 0.010|
|4||44||Pol ESPARGARO||Yamaha||1'34.678||0.143 / 0.099|
|5||93||Marc MARQUEZ||Honda||1'34.885||0.350 / 0.207|
|6||99||Jorge LORENZO||Yamaha||1'35.084||0.549 / 0.199|
|7||45||Scott REDDING||Honda||1'35.122||0.587 / 0.038|
|8||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||Forward Yamaha||1'35.283||0.748 / 0.161|
|9||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||Ducati||1'35.445||0.910 / 0.162|
|10||68||Yonny HERNANDEZ||Ducati||1'35.501||0.966 / 0.056|
|11||5||Colin EDWARDS||Forward Yamaha||1'35.743||1.208 / 0.242|
|12||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||Ducati||1'35.935||1.400 / 0.192|
|13||7||Hiroshi AOYAMA||Honda||1'35.953||1.418 / 0.018|
|14||6||Stefan BRADL||Honda||1'35.972||1.437 / 0.019|
|15||17||Karel ABRAHAM||Honda||1'35.995||1.460 / 0.023|
|16||26||Dani PEDROSA||Honda||1'36.419||1.884 / 0.424|
|17||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||Honda||1'36.436||1.901 / 0.017|
|18||8||Hector BARBERA||Avintia||1'36.444||1.909 / 0.008|
|19||23||Broc PARKES||PBM||1'36.445||1.910 / 0.001|
|20||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ART||1'36.837||2.302 / 0.392|
|21||70||Michael LAVERTY||PBM||1'38.399||3.864 / 1.562|
|22||63||Mike DI MEGLIO||Avintia||1'38.405||3.870 / 0.006|
|23||2||Leon CAMIER||Honda||1'39.962||5.427 / 1.557|