Stefan Bradl charged to the top of the timesheet Saturday with a 1'32.522 that left him a mere one-hundredth of a second clear of Valentino Rossi (2nd). Jorge Lorenzo set the third-fastest time, another eight-hundredths back.
Efren Vazquez took advantage of terrific track conditions to set the fastest Moto3 time of the weekend and grab the top spot in the third free practice Saturday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Vazquez's 1'41.103 put him a tenth of a second clear of a rapidly improving Romano Fenati (2nd). Isaac Vinales took third, another four-hundredths back. In each subsequent practice, Vazquez has steadily improved his place on the timesheet moving from fifth, to fourth to first.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams, Bridgestone and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after the first day of practice at the circuit:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of practice at Indianapolis:
Successful start for Hafiq Azmi at Indianapolis
For the past four years, my coverage of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has followed something of a ritual. The riders would ride the track. The riders would talk to the media about how awful the track was, the bumps, the different types of asphalt, the drainage covers, the joints between the tarmac, the corners which were too tight. I would write about what the riders had said in my nightly round ups. And I would receive an email complaining about what I'd written from IMS' otherwise excellent media office.
It's hard to blame Indy's media office for such a reaction. They are the best media office of all the circuits on the calendar, by a country mile, better organized and providing useful and timely information on everything happening on the track. It is part of their duty to handle criticism of the circuit, especially that coming from a bunch of Europeans only using half the real Speedway track, and requiring corners. They were only doing their job.
They will have a much easier job this weekend. Rider reaction to the changes made at Indy has been overwhelmingly positive, with barely a whisper of criticism of the track. The single surface on the infield is a vast improvement, the changes to the track layout make it much more suitable for motorcycle racing, and most of the bumps have been removed. The circuit is "more like a normal track," as Marc Marquez put it. Pol Espargaro concurred. Indy is "more of a motorbike track" the Tech 3 man said.
Colin Edwards will contest only three more MotoGP rounds in the 2014 season. The Texan is to race at Indianapolis, Silverstone and Valencia, before hanging up his helmet. From Brno, Alex De Angelis will take Edwards' place, and Edwards will race as a third rider for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing team in the UK and at the last race of the year.
Dominique Aegerter has picked up at Indianapolis where he left off before the summer break, ending the first day of practice for the Moto2 class on top of the timesheets. The Swiss rider fought a close battle with Sandro Cortese, snatching back top spot right at the end. Cortese was left with 2nd spot, just a hundredth of a second off the time of Aegerter, while Tito Rabat took the 3rd fastest time, dragging Thom Luthi in his wake. Ant West showed excellent form to set the 5th best time in FP2.
Marc Marquez reasserted his season-long dominance Friday with a fast lap of 1’32.882 — the only rider to dip into the 1’32s in either free practice. Marquez's time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway put him slightly more that two-tenths clear of Andrea Iannone (2nd) and half a second in front of Jorge Lorenzo (3rd) as riders tried to work out the new lines and extra speed of the redesigned track.
Isaac Vinales used his final lap of FP2 to his advantage to seize the top spot in Friday's final session at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Vinales' nine-hundredths margin just clipped Alex Marquez (2nd) who had just set his fastest time and briefly held the top spot.
Jack Miller, leader for much of the session, ended his day in third. Efren Vazquez (4th) and John McPhee (5th) rounded out the top five. Both Vinales and Marquez set their fast times with effective use of slipstreaming on the long straight -- a tactic that will prove vital for the flyweight, 50 BHP bikes.
The Repsol Honda and Movistar Yamaha teams issued the following press releases after FP1 at Indianapolis.