MotoGP bikes returned to action on 26th August, at Indianapolis; Round 12 of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship, and Casey Stoner has come out on top of the MotoGP pack.
Indianapolis Free Practice Nr. 1 Report
MotoGP fans saw Ben Spies on top of the timesheets in the first free practice session. Spies who had secured pole position here last season, and came second in the race, lapped fastest with a best time of 1’43.260, as Casey’s late surge of 1’43.552 hot-lap was not enough to hold him off. A clear and sunny day opened the first practice session for the premier class upon their return to the United States, with a newly paved track welcoming them to the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix weekend. Quicker lap times were expected due to the resurfacing of the track; however, the track was still dirty and required some rubber to get grips.
Colin Edwards was the second American in the top-three, and Nicky made it three in the top-five having lapped fifth fastest – 0.126s ahead of his teammate Valentino Rossi. Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa finished ninth and tenth fastest respectively.
Indianapolis Free Practice Nr. 2 Analysis
As 125cc and Moto2 class riders laid down more rubber, the track had more grip in the afternoon, and thus riders lapped significantly quicker than their morning timings. This time, Casey Stoner held off challenge from Ben Spies, and teammate Dani Pedrosa. He improved by over 2.5s of his morning time, and lapped 1’40.724. Spies, Dani, Jorge, Dovizioso, and Edwards were the riders lapping within one second of Casey. Valentino Rossi worked on bike setup on GP11.1 and finished eleventh, 1.681s behind Stoner’s hot lap.
Should we expect further quick timings in the third practice, and in qualifying? How about 1’39 barrier?
Indianapolis Free Practice Nr. 3 Stats
Casey Stoner is ahead of the MotoGP pack in the morning practice session, with qualifying to come in the afternoon. It is due to start at 13:55 GMT-4 Local Time (22:55 GMT+5). Lap times in the third practice significantly decreases, as three riders broke 1’40s barrier. Casey finished on top spot with a best lap of 1’39.538, followed by Ben Spies and Dani Pedrosa as in the second practice. Jorge finished a lowly seventh on the timesheets, over a second slower to the pace setter, Casey. Valentino Rossi improved on his lap times, and was 0.151s behind his ex-teammate on Yamaha.
Arnold’s prediction ahead of MotoGP qualifying
I predict Jorge Lorenzo off the front-row at Indy, with Pole going to either Casey Stoner or Ben Spies. Dani Pedrosa will qualify for the front row. Regarding Ducati Team riders, Valentino Rossi might qualify ahead of Hayden, even if he does not, Valle will still finish the race ahead of him. I predict a lowest spot on the second row, or a seventh place grid position for Valentino Rossi. I also expect Colin Edwards to give us a good show.
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You can view full free practice results at MotoGP.com.