Casey Stoner has topped the first session of free practice at Indianapolis for the MotoGP class, leapfrogging over his teammate Dani Pedrosa to make it a one-two for the Repsol Hondas in FP1. Stoner and Pedrosa swapped fastest times for most of the session, while Ducati's Nicky Hayden got his home GP off to a strong start to take 3rd spot.
Ben Spies ended up in 4th, the Factory Yamaha rider a few hundredths slower than fellow American Hayden, while Stefan Bradl set the 5th fastest time on his MotoGP debut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, sporting a brand new Red Bull livery for his LCR Honda. Alvaro Bautista put his Gresini Honda into 6th, ahead of Cal Crutchlow on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, Jorge Lorenzo on the Factory Yamaha and Valentino Rossi on the Ducati. Crutchlow had a big crash in the first half of the session, and came away treating his shoulder very gingerly, though the Englishman went out again to pursue a time. Hector Barbera was less fortunate, suffering a big highside at Turn 16, and being taken to the medical center. From there, he was shipped to a local hospital for suspected injuries to his vertebrae, a repeat of an injury he suffered at Motegi last year. The leg he broke at Mugello - less than five weeks ago - was fine.
Barbera's crash - and that of Crutchlow - was caused by the difficult grip conditions at Indianapolis. After very heavy overnight rain, there are still one or two damp spots and the track is very green off the racing line. As practice goes on, that should quickly improve.
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