INDIANAPOLIS, IN, SEPT. 12 - It may be early, but Kawasaki's Anthony West has demonstrated through two sessions at a very wet Indianapolis Motor Speedway that if it rains on Sunday he will be a factor in the outcome of the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.
With rain falling heavier than in this morning's session, West was slower than he was this morning, but he was still the man on top when all was said and done. Lapping at 1:54.274, the Australian was .758 of a second better than Rizla Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen in the afternoon session, but 1.240 seconds slower than he was this morning.
By the end of the session the rain was coming down in buckets and the best riders in the world were doing their best just to tip-toe their way around the 2.621-mile racetrack.
Alex de Angelis again showed his mettle in the wet conditions to post the third fastest time, besting Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi and Rizla Suzuki's Ben Spies. Andrea Dovizioso was sixth fastest, better than Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo and Marlboro Ducati's Casey Stoner.
Dani Pedrosa was one of a few riders who actually went faster this afternoon than this morning, jumping from last in the early session to ninth best this afternoon. Ditto for Marco Melandri, who also improved from near the bottom this morning to 10th in the second session.
With Spies taking over from Nicky Hayden as the best of the Americans this afternoon, the others slotted in behind with John Hopkins 11th, Hayden 14th and Colin Edwards 15th.
1. Anthony West (Kawasaki) 1:54.274
2. Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) 1:55.032
3. Alex de Angelis (Honda) 1:55.067
4. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:55.425
5. Ben Spies (Suzuki) 1:55.869
6. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1:56.225
7. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:56.313
8. Casey Stoner (Ducati) 1:56.458
9. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:56.782
10. Marco Melandri (Ducati) 1:57.534
11. John Hopkins (Suzuki) 1:58.335
12. Randy de Puniet (Honda) 1:58.382
13. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) 1:58.399
14. Nicky Hayden (Honda) 1:58.546
15. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1:58.600
16. Toni Elias (Ducati) 1:59.059
17. Shinya Nakano (Honda) 1:59.092
18. James Toseland (Yamaha) 1:59.478
19. Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) 1:59.661