INDIANAPOLIS, IN, SEPT. 13 - The MotoGP men got their first taste of a dry Indianapolis Motor Speedway this morning and the lap times dropped dramatically as a result of it. By the end of the session, it was Alice Ducati's Toni Elias at the top of the time sheets with a best of 1:43.708 - almost 10 seconds better than Anthony West's best from yesterday wet sessions.

The change in weather also meant a drastic change in fortune for Kawasaki's West, the Australian going from first yesterday to dead last today.

The session was entertaining initially with Repsol Honda's Nicky Hayden thrilling the crowd with lurid slides on his rain tires-shod Honda on the drying track. Hayden led the going early before the times started to drop dramatically, but he was also there at the end, ending up third in the session with a 1:43.826 - just .118 of a second off Elias.

Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi slotted himself between the Ducati of Elias and the Honda of Hayden, the multi-time World Champion just .072 of a second behind the Spaniard.

Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa and his new Bridgestones were fourth best and the last man to circulate in the 1:43s.

Andrea Dovizioso put the JiR Scot team Honda into fifth with San Carlo Honda's Alex de Angelis sixth. Then came the first of the Suzukis - ridden by Texan Ben Spies. Elias' teammate Sylvain Guintoli ended up eighth with Rizla Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen and JiR Scot Honda's Randy de Puniet rounded out the top 10.

Americans Colin Edwards and John Hopkins ended the session 13th and 18th, respectively.

MotoGP Practice:

1. Toni Elias (Ducati) 1:43.708

2. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:43.780

3. Nicky Hayden (Honda) 1:43.826

4. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:43.893

5. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1:44.171

6. Alex de Angelis (Honda) 1:44.210

7. Ben Spies (Suzuki) 1:44.211

8. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) 1:44.459

9. Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) 1:44.499

10. Randy de Puniet (Honda) 1:45.087

11. Shinya Nakano (Honda) 1:45.147

12. Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) 1:45.158

13. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1:45.172

14. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:45.318

15. Marco Melandri (Ducati) 1:45.466

16. James Toseland (Yamaha) 1:45.579

17. Casey Stoner (Ducati) 1:45.706

18. John Hopkins (Kawasaki) 1:45.894

19. Anthony West (Kawasaki) 1:46.945

MotoGP News

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.

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