The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is an immensely successful motorsports venue, but its very success worked against it on the first day of practice. After complaints last year that the track was too bumpy and the kerbs were raised too much, the infield part of the circuit was completely resurfaced and many of the bumps were removed. The MotoGP riders were almost unanimously impressed by the effort put in by Indy, and the change was universally appreciated as a sign that IMS was keen on keeping MotoGP at the facility for the immediate future.
The praise soon evaporated after the Friday morning session of practice, however. Like all newly-laid tarmac, the track was very dirty, and the Spanish contingent especially were complaining bitterly about the lack of grip. "I never tried asphalt so slippery," Jorge Lorenzo said after FP1, and several riders commented that the track was like riding in the wet. "You can't lean the bike in the corners," Dani Pedrosa added, "And the tires are destroyed."
The root of the problem is the lack of use that the infield track gets, being employed solely by MotoGP and the (very) occasional track day run by former MotoGP legend Kevin Schwantz. As a result, the track is dirty and has very little rubber laid down on the surface, meaning the track was immensely slippery for the first session. The fact that there are only 17 MotoGP bikes circulating didn't help either, with so few bikes not helping to lay down very much rubber at all.