Repsol Honda press release
The Repsol Honda riders were back on track today for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix at the famous Motorsport Speedway, which has undergone substantial resurfacing since last years race. In this morning's first session, all three riders complained with the lack of grip that this new surface suffers from. Conditions improved slightly for the afternoon session after more rubber had been laid on track from the other classes. Lap times dropped consistently and Repsol Honda rider Casey Stoner lapped three seconds faster than his morning lap time. Casey ended the day at the top of the times sheets with an impressive 1'40.724, only six tenths slower than the circuit record lap of 1'40.152 (Lorenzo, 2009).
Dani Pedrosa focused on adapting to the new track conditions, working on the set up of his RC212V and found more grip claiming the third fastest time of the day, improving his morning lap times by four seconds.
Team mate Andrea Dovizioso finished fifth at the end of the first day. Andrea struggled with tyre wear during the afternoon session. Tomorrow he will continue to work on the set up and try to understand how manage tyre wear.
CASEY STONER - 1st 1'40.724
"This afternoon the track was slightly better and of course the lap times improved with more bikes on track and cleaning it up, but I'm still not comfortable on this surface. It's incredibly slippery and the track is certainly my least favourite of the whole season. It's very tight, slippery and the new surface is pretty bad, it's not just the dirt on the surface but there seems to be something strange where the two surfaces join, some grease of some sort that creates more issues. With this said, we couldn't find too much with the bike, we made a small step this morning and a small step this afternoon but we're struggling to get a good feeling in the bike. We tried the harder front this afternoon which gave us good feedback and we were able to go a little bit faster, but in general the track needs to improve before we can know what direction to go in and I just hope the conditions improve for the race. My last few exits were slightly ruined from traffic on track and also wildlife! I saw something out the corner of my eye, I'm not sure what it was perhaps a gopher or something, I thought it was a part from someones bike, I'm just glad we both escaped from that situation unharmed!"
DANI PEDROSA - 3rd 1'41.205
"The track improved a little in the second practice session, at least on the racing line, but outside the line the surface is still very dirty and slippery. However, we made some better lap times; it's just about getting a good setup with the tyres and trying to take care of them. Let's hope that the conditions keep improving throughout the weekend and we can keep working step by step on the set up considering that the tyres will be the key point in this race. In general, I'm happier than this morning, we were able to improve by four seconds in just one session, but we have to keep focused and make another step forward tomorrow".
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO - 5th 1'41.536
"The track improved a lot from the morning to the afternoon and in FP2 the lap times dropped by three seconds. With more rubber on track, the grip changed quickly and now the main issue is tyre wear. This is typical for new asphalt so we have to manage the tyres carefully, with special attention on the front tyre. The key point for the race will be managing the tyres. I hope that conditions will improve again tomorrow as with today’s situation it’s impossible to finish the race. I’m not worried with fifth position as when it was time to push, we weren't able to because we had to keep the tyres for tomorrow so I’m confident that we can be competitive here".