INDIANAPOLIS, IN, AUG 26 –
Something was clearly wrong. Yamaha’s reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo was languishing deep in the bottom half of the 17-rider MotoGP field in the first practice for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix. It was only late in the session that he moved slightly up the order to finish ninth fastest.The problem was the repaved infield. The riders had requested that the infield, from turn five to the final corner onto the front straight, be repaved to eliminate bumps. The repaving was done over the summer, but the end result wasn’t as intended. Not only was grip reduced, but the surface was also hard on tires. The combination forced more than a few riders to re-consider how hard they’d attack the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“I don’t feel safe on this new asphalt,” Lorenzo said after the session, which was led by his teammate Ben Spies. “To be honest, I never try asphalt so slippery like that and it seems it’s very dirty and doesn’t improve so much from the first lap to the last lap, it doesn’t improve so much. So I’m very disappointed about the new asphalt.He added, “All the asphalt, all the corners more or less, especially the flowing corners, the three corners in a row they are the worst ones.”He thought the surface would improve, “but not so much. I tried to change my line, to be more tight, and when I tried I almost crashed, because it was so dirty, so very disappointed. To be honest, I prefer so much the old asphalt to this one.””I hope, I really hope that it improves,” he said after more riders laid rubber down. “I really hope, because like this it’s really uncomfortable to ride and I don’t imagine a rain race, because it’s going to be a disaster.”Was there anything that would improve the conditions, he was asked? “Well, we have to put maybe motocross tires on this track,” he joked.