Ducati Team's Casey Stoner leads the way in Indianapolis after the first practice session of the weekend, setting the fastest lap by a margin of 0.2seconds. During the session tyre compound choices were mixed as Stoner favoured the softer option rear whilst Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo used the harder option to record the second fastest time.
Almost all riders assessed both front tyre compounds during the session, and half the field tried both rear specs in preparation for their race choice. The harder front is preferable in the hot conditions this weekend because the stiffer compound performs more consistently and provides better stability at a high temperature, but rider opinion is divided on rear tyre choices with four riders in the top eight using the softer and four using the harder compound option.
Assessment of rear tyre choice for the race will be the focus of teams and riders tomorrow during the second practice session and into qualifying.
As the track temperature rose to a scorching 50 degrees Celsius, today was the hottest session for motorcycling's premier class at Indianapolis since the series first visited the venue in 2008. Track conditions were good, although the bumpy nature of the circuit caused some issues.
Tohru Ubukata - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
"Conditions today were much hotter than ever for MotoGP at Indianapolis, and in this heat the harder option front and rear slicks provide better stability and consistency. We can see that the softer rear is working well because Casey was fastest using it, but we must check its consistency over race distance in these conditions. This will be the main focus for teams tomorrow during practice and qualifying. The bumps here affect tyre stability, particularly in the front, but generally I am happy with tyre performance and I'm keen to see whether our softer rear tyre will have sufficient consistency for race distance."