Pedrosa Fastest on Friday at Indy

Henny Ray Abrams | August 17, 2012

SPEEDWAY, IN, AUG 17 – Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa finished Friday’s combined practice sessions with a time that was faster than the fastest race lap from last year’s MotoGP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Spaniard was in a class by himself in FP2, held in warm, sunny weather at the Brickyard, with a gap that was yawning before gradually being winnowed down by only one rider.

That rider was Ben Spies, the Yamaha factory pilot who finished .295 of a second behind Pedrosa.

Pedrosa finished with a lap of 1:39.783, faster than the circuit record lap of 1:39.807 run by teammate Casey Stoner in last year’s race. Spies was second at 1:40.078, the only rider within half a second of Pedrosa and the first of three Yamahas. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo was .424 of a seconds behind Spies with Andrea Dovizioso, and only .058 of a second slower than Lorenzo on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1.

Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner had set the pace in the morning, but couldn’t stay at the front of the field in the afternoon. Stoner improved his time before running into a confounding problem that halted his progress. Stoner and the didn’t see anything on the data. The source of the problem, they believe, was a rock in the chain. That caused him to change bikes and he wasn’t able to improve his time.

Dovi’s teammate Cal Crutchlow was sixth fastest and narrowly in front of San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista.

LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl was eighth, and the final prototype Honda, racing in Red Bull colors at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.

Ducati Marlboro teammates Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi filled out the top 10 in a disappointing session. It was especially so for Hayden who’d been third fastest in the morning.

The other Americans were farther down the order. NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards was 18th fastest in the middle of the CRT set. In his MotoGP debut, Aaron Yates was 22nd fastest on the GPTech BCL Suzuki. Yates was 6.238 seconds off the pace. Attack Performance’s Steve Rapp (Kaw) was forced to sit out the session while his team rebuilt their race engine, rather than race with their spare.

Pramac Racing’s Hector Barbera was replaced by Toni Elias after suffering multiple vertebrae fractures in a vicious morning highside. Barbera was taken to a local hospital where he’s being kept overnight for observation.

Friday Combined MotoGP Practice:

1. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:39.783

2. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1:40.078

3. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:40.502

4. Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha) 1:40.560

5. Casey Stoner (Honda) 1:40.623

6. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1:41.055

7. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 1:41.072

8. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 1:41. 255

9. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1:41.397

10. Valentino Rossi (Ducati) 1:41.553

18. Colin Edwards (BMW Suter) 1:44.523

22. Aaron Yates (BCL) 1:46.021

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.