2009-08-28 14:41
Hot and humid weather gave way to heavy rain at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this afternoon, bringing back memories of last year’s hurricane-struck race as the riders splashed through puddles of standing water. Today’s bad weather looks like being a one-off however and the forecast for the rest of the weekend looks much better. The Fiat Yamaha pair of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, who has just signed a one-year extension to his current deal with Yamaha, finished the day in third and fourth respectively.

Rossi chose to sit out the first twenty minutes of the session in order to save mileage on his engine and only ventured out once the track was fully wet. The victor in last year’s storm, he was one of the fastest in the later stages on the soaking track and moved into third position on his final lap of the session, three tenths off Dani Pedrosa at the top.

Lorenzo gained his first ever wet-weather podium here last year and was happy to find that he felt just as confident this time around in the wet on his YZR-M1, continuing to set consistently fast laps throughout the soaking session and finishing under a tenth off the time of his team-mate. The 22-year-old is sporting a one-off ‘Captain America’ helmet here, inspired by the famous comic-book hero.

Rossi - Position: 3rd Time: 1'51.814 Laps: 16
“I sat out the first twenty minutes in order to save the engine mileage and by the time I went out it was very wet. Unfortunately the track wasn’t draining so well where there is new asphalt and in some corners it was quite dangerous with standing water and a risk of aquaplaning. This weather was unlucky but it wasn’t such a bad session and our pace and setting in the wet was quite good. We were able to improve the balance of the bike and if the conditions are like this again then we have some ideas to improve further. Luckily however it looks like the weather will be much better and so tomorrow we will start again from zero in the dry!”

Lorenzo - Position: 4th Time: 1'51.894 Laps: 23
“This track has three kinds of asphalt and in some places the bikes looked like they were at sea! The riding style was very complicated to get right today, above all in the first two sectors, but anyway I’m quite happy, especially because this is my first start after confirming that I’ll stay with Yamaha next year and I’m proud to be here. I felt quite confident today even in the bad weather but hopefully tomorrow the sun will shine and we can see where we are in the dry.”

Brivio - Team Manager
“We did a few laps today because you never know what can happen with the weather and even though the forecast is good for the rest of the weekend, we need to be prepared for anything. We were strong in the wet today with Valentino finishing near the top so it was a useful session, but hopefully we won’t need this data for the race. Our real work should start tomorrow, hopefully in the sunshine!”

Romagnoli - Team Manager
“Unfortunately today the rain got in the way of our plans and it was a slightly difficult first session in some areas, especially in the first two splits where there was a lot of water on the track. Overall however it was a useful day and we will be ready in case it does rain over the rest of the weekend. Now we’re looking forward to seeing how we are in the dry tomorrow.”

Combined Free Practice Times
1. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda 1'51.507
2. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team 1'51.662
3. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team 1'51.814
4. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team 1'51.894
5. Alex De Angelis (RSM) San Carlo Honda Gresini 1'52.264
6. James Toseland (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1'52.888
7. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1'52.928
8. Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1'53.128
9. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda 1'53.151
10. Marco Melandri (ITA) Hayate Racing Team 1'53.590
11. Mika Kallio (FIN) Ducati Marlboro Team 1'53.967
12. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1'54.554
13. Randy De Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP 1'54.674
14. Toni Elias (SPA) San Carlo Honda Gresini 1'54.788
15. Alex Espagaro (SPA) Pramac Racing 1'56.204
16. Gabor Talmacsi (HUN) Scot Racing Team MotoGP 1'56.594
17. Niccolo Canepa (ITA) Pramac Racing 1'58.244

Indianapolis: Record Lap
V. Rossi (Yamaha) 2008, 1'49.668

Indianapolis: Best Lap
V. Rossi (Yamaha) 2008, 1'40.776

Source: Fiat Yamaha Team

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