Indianapolis GP: Tech 3 Yamaha Friday practice report

Tech 3 Yamaha battle Indy rain Heavy rain dominated the long-awaited opening day of the inaugural Indianapolis MotoGP today, with Tech 3 Yamaha's Colin Edwards and James Toseland battling treacherous conditions to finish 15th and ...

Tech 3 Yamaha battle Indy rain

Heavy rain dominated the long-awaited opening day of the inaugural Indianapolis MotoGP today, with Tech 3 Yamaha's Colin Edwards and James Toseland battling treacherous conditions to finish 15th and 17th respectively.

Edwards and Toseland both clocked their best times on a wet track this morning before conditions rapidly deteriorated in this afternoon's second free practice session. With the rain worsening, the majority of the 19- strong field failed to improve their times from earlier in the day.

The main issue for the Tech 3 Yamaha pairing was standing water on sections of the circuit run on new tarmac. And with grip levels varying drastically between old and new sections of asphalt, aquaplaning became a major concern as the rain worsened.

Conditions look set to remain wet for the remainder of the weekend, with thunderstorms and showers forecast for tomorrow and Sunday's 28-lap race. A large crowd is still expected for the MotoGP debut at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a venue steeped in motorsport history and tradition.

Colin Edwards - Position: 15th Time: 1'58.600 Laps: 44

"It is pretty tough out there and when the rain is at its heaviest it was terrible. The people at Indy have done a phenomenal job to get this show on, and it's a shame that the rain is playing such a big role. The circuit for me is cool for safety and I've got no major issues and its fun to ride. But in that heavy rain I wouldn't look forward to having to race in those conditions. And if the rain is that hard on Sunday it is going to be last man standing. This morning it wasn't so bad because the rain wasn't so heavy, but this afternoon it got really tough to ride. The problem is where the tarmac changes between the old and the new. On the front straight and then for the first four corners it is pretty bad. But then once you are on the old surface you are good to push. You can flick the bike on its side and brake hard. But you don't know where the limit is on the first part. And when you find the limit you aquaplane and crash. You're constantly trying to push a little bit more at a time to see where the limit is while keeping it on two wheels. It was so easy to make a mistake. There's a channel of water in the first corner and I was behind Sylvain Guintoli. He wasn't pushing hard at all. I'd say he was a fraction off line and he hit a huge puddle and he was down. In the first part nothing is draining. It drains but it is just not draining fast enough when it starts to rain really hard. So then you start aquaplaning."

James Toseland - Position: 18th Time: 1'59.478 Laps: 44

"I'm not too disheartened with my position and the lap times I was doing in the worse conditions were not bad compared to the rest. We didn't have a good setting for when the track was pretty good at the start of the session this afternoon, but when I went back out again it had rained hard and there was lying water in parts of the track. You needed to do a lap time in the first 20 minutes and we didn't. But in the middle of the session when the times were slower we weren't too far away at all. It was one of those days when you could have been up the front or down the bottom. The big issue is the puddles on the new surface. With the amount of rain we had this afternoon, it made it nearly unrideable. You aquaplane for at least two metres before you turn in at the first corner and that isn't a lot of fun. This morning when it wasn't raining so much, there was still a big puddle in the first corner, but this afternoon the rain made it nearly impossible. The old surface is absolutely fine but we are really struggling for grip in the sections where the new surface is. You aquaplane because the puddles in places must be two or three inches deep. It is just a shame because there has been a lot of expectation about coming to Indy. It would be a great track in the dry and it could be a fantastic event. It is great to see so many fans turn out in this weather, so hopefully we can put an exciting show on for them."

-credit: yamaha-racing.com

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Colin Edwards , James Toseland , Sylvain Guintoli