Indianapolis GP: Bridgestone Friday practice report

West singing Indy rain in wet practice Kawasaki Racing rider Anthony West has ended the opening day of free practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the top of the timesheets having led the way in both wet sessions. Persistent and often...

West singing Indy rain in wet practice

Kawasaki Racing rider Anthony West has ended the opening day of free practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the top of the timesheets having led the way in both wet sessions.

Persistent and often torrential rain has fallen at the Speedway throughout the day, rendering difficult most riders first taste of the new-look Indianapolis circuit. Nevertheless, there are three Bridgestone-shod riders at the head of the combined practice standings with San Carlo Honda Gresini rider Alex De Angelis in second place, and Ducati's reigning world champion Casey Stoner in third.

John Hopkins made it two Kawasakis in the top five with the fifth fastest time of the day. Rizla Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen was sixth overall ahead of Ben Spies, who is participating as a Suzuki wildcard this weekend, in ninth. Toni Elias, who has enjoyed a run of podium results in recent races, rounded out the top ten.

The weather forecast for the rest of the weekend does offer much hope of respite from the wet conditions, so this morning's extended 90-minute session and this afternoon's 60-minute session could prove extremely valuable for Sunday's race. Bridgestone's soft and medium compound wet weather tyres have performed well over the day with over a race distance worth of laps set using the same set of tyres.

Tyre Talk with Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development

How did Bridgestone fare with the wet conditions today?

"For any new track it is preferable to have fully dry conditions to allow the riders to get up to speed with the circuit characteristics, for teams to set up their bikes and for tyre manufacturers to evaluate the range of slick tyres. The wet conditions we have faced today have therefore changed our workload quite a bit. We used soft and medium compound wets during the day. Lap times were naturally quicker in the morning session but overall I am pleased with our wet tyre performance. Our riders have put many laps on the same set of tyres, so it would seem durability is within our expectations in spite of the difficult circuit conditions."

How is the track in the wet?

"This circuit has several different tyres of asphalt and the conditions are not consistent over the entire lap. It is quite tricky for the riders in the first part of the lap, the newer MotoGP circuit layout, and also in the second sector. But the older parts of the circuit - the traditional Indy oval and the Formula One course- drain the water better and give the riders a different feeling. It has definitely not been easy for the riders out there today, so their commitment and performance is to be commended. We have some riders in good shape in these conditions, especially Anthony, who has shown his usual excellence in the wet."

Weather:
Session 1 / Wet - Air 22o.C, Track 24C (Bridgestone measurement)
Session 2 / Wet - Air 23o.C, Track 25C (Bridgestone measurement)

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Ben Spies , Anthony West , Toni Elias , Casey Stoner