INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 11, 2012) — MotoGP wildcards Aaron Yates and Steve Rapp completed a successful test session at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Saturday in preparations for next weekend’s Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix (Aug. 17-19).
Yates was making his first laps at the famed Motor Speedway riding the newly built BCL Motorsports/GPtech CRT machine. He admitted to being a bit perplexed at first by the long turns of Indy’s infield road course section.
“It took me awhile to get comfortable with the track,” said Yates, who is making his return to racing this summer after seriously injuring right leg in 2010. “The turns go on forever back there and there are a lot of line choices, but by the end of the day I think I was figuring it out pretty well and I felt good about our progress.”
This will be the maiden voyage for the BCL Motorsports/GPtech team in MotoGP. GPtech fielded a Moto2 entry at Indianapolis in 2010 and 2011. Yates, along with development rider Taylor Knapp, tested the BCL/GPtech bike earlier this week on a private circuit in Illinois. Yates said the bike worked well from the start and now they are refining the motorcycle’s settings and reported making good progress Saturday in Indianapolis.
“The bike worked pretty nice, especially with the Bridgestone tires today,” Yates said. “I got really comfortable on it today and didn’t try anything too crazy. I just wanted to put in some solid laps to get ready for next weekend. The motor is just AMA Superbike spec, so it’s nothing special, but the power felt good and the bike was stable even when I pushed it a little harder later in the day.”
Yates’ motorcycle did not have a timing transponder, but he was hand timed at 1:45.8.
“In my eyes the test was very successful,” said GPtech’s Geoff Maloney. “We got down to making finer chassis adjustments in the second half of the day and made the bike comfortable for Aaron. The bike worked well with the Bridgestones and we’re pleased with where we are, especially considering this bike is less than two weeks old. Now we take the bike back and to put some nice colors on it to make it look pretty.”
Steve Rapp’s Attack Performance CRT entry sported a beautiful new paint scheme and Rapp seemed quite pleased with the progress of the machine, after missing the qualifying time cutoff in the MotoGP race at Laguna Seca two weeks ago.
“The bike is night and day from what we had at Laguna,” Rapp said. “We made a lot of progress and I’m pretty confident we’ll put the bike in the field at Indy.”
Rapp clocked a 1:45.5 on the Attack Performance bike, and he said he felt there was a good two or three seconds still to be had as the racing surface improves.
“It was pretty dirty out there,” Rapp reported. “I think just having a lot more bikes on the track next weekend will really improve the traction. The MotoGP bikes ran 1:40s in the race here last year and if we can get within a couple of seconds of that I’ll be happy.”
The addition of wildcards Yates and Rapp, joining MotoGP regulars Colin Edwards Nicky Hayden and Ben Spies, means there will be five Americans in the event next weekend, a new record for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.
Riders from the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series also tested at IMS Saturday. Tyler O’Hara topped the charts with a 1:55.914.