Stoner To The Top At Indy

Henny Ray Abrams | August 26, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, AUG 26 – Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner leapt to the top of the time charts with less than five minutes remaining in the afternoon session to take the fastest time on a day of changing track conditions.Stoner displaced Ben Spies, the Yamaha rider who’d been fastest in the morning and was leading the afternoon session by more than half a second when Stoner sped to the top by a scant .092 of a second. With his final lap Stoner improved his time by another tenth to finish the day with a best of 1:40.724. The time was 2.8 seconds faster than he’d gone in the morning, when he was second to Spies, and 2.6 seconds faster than Spies’ morning time.The improvement could be attributed to the track. When the MotoGP riders first went out this morning, the track was green, slippery, and abrasive. By the time they went out in the afternoon, the 125s and Moto2 bikes had laid down some rubber, along with two sessions of MotoGP practice.Following the morning session, Spies said that, although the track was slippery, he thought with more rubber the existing race record lap of 1:40.152 seconds, set by Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo in 2009, would be in jeopardy. With Saturday morning practice and afternoon remaining, it’s a certainty that that time, as well as the pole time of 1:39.730 set by Dani Pedrosa in 2009 could be eclipsed.Pedrosa was extremely critical of the track in the morning, but made the most of it in the afternoon. He improved from 10thth to third and leapfrogged Lorenzo to take third with the last of his 19 laps.Jorge Lorenzo, Spies’ teammate, greatly improved his time and position from the morning. Fourth this afternoon, Lorenzo had been ninth in the morning with a lap time of 1:45.065. His afternoon time was 3.5 seconds faster.Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso was fifth fastest with Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Colin Edwards sixth after having been third in the morning.Next was San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Marco Simoncelli in seventh place. The Italian dropped Ducati Marlboro’s Nicky Hayden to eighth with his 20th and last lap. Hayden was the best of the Ducatis; teammate Valentino Rossi was 11th fastest after having been sixth in the morning. His time improved by about two seconds.Combined Friday Practice Times: 1. Casey Stoner (Honda) 1:40.724

2. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1:40.918

3. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:41.205

4. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:41.461

5. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1:41.536

6. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1:41.699

7. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) 1:41.742

8. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1:41.789

9. Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki) 1:42.231

10. Randy de Puniet (Ducati) 1:42.339

11. Valentino Rossi (Ducati) 1:42.405


Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.