2010 Indianapolis MotoGP FP1 Result - New Forks Give Stoner Fresh Hope

Casey Stoner's gamble on using the 2011 spec Ohlins forks looks to have paid off, the Marlboro Ducati rider getting off to a strong start at Indianapolis by topping the timesheets with nearly a quarter of a second advantage over Jorge Lorenzo. The Fiat Yamaha rider had dominated the early part of the session, picking up where he left off at Brno. But once Stoner got the new forks dialed in, there was no stopping him, the Australian the only rider to dip into the 1'40 bracket. Lorenzo was forced to settle for 2nd, but given his advantage over his championship rivals, Lorenzo will not be too unhappy.

Nicky Hayden's special Indianapolis helmet has worked out for the Marlboro Ducati rider, Hayden setting the 3rd fastest time half a second behind his teammate, despite a crash in the last quarter of the session. Hayden finished ahead of Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa and Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi, though both Pedrosa and Rossi had to put in a late charge to claw their way up the field. Colin Edwards finished in 6th place, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha just edging out Repsol's Andrea Dovizioso and his teammate Ben Spies. Like Hayden, Spies had also crashed late in the session, but neither man was hurt in the crash.

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 27 Casey STONER DUCATI 1'40.884    
2 99 Jorge LORENZO YAMAHA 1'41.109 0.225 0.225
3 69 Nicky HAYDEN DUCATI 1'41.405 0.521 0.296
4 26 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 1'41.421 0.537 0.016
5 46 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA 1'41.623 0.739 0.202
6 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 1'41.664 0.780 0.041
7 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO HONDA 1'41.683 0.799 0.019
8 11 Ben SPIES YAMAHA 1'41.722 0.838 0.039
9 41 Aleix ESPARGARO DUCATI 1'41.992 1.108 0.270
10 33 Marco MELANDRI HONDA 1'42.147 1.263 0.155
11 58 Marco SIMONCELLI HONDA 1'42.268 1.384 0.121
12 40 Hector BARBERA DUCATI 1'42.368 1.484 0.100
13 36 Mika KALLIO DUCATI 1'42.600 1.716 0.232
14 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SUZUKI 1'42.696 1.812 0.096
15 65 Loris CAPIROSSI SUZUKI 1'42.790 1.906 0.094
16 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA HONDA 1'42.874 1.990 0.084
17 14 Randy DE PUNIET HONDA 1'42.987 2.103 0.113
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Casey Stoner to get his first victory of the season, my sources in the script writing department tell me. Then Malaysia and Philip Island.

Hmm. In resent race weekends Casey trailed Jorge at least with 2/10 or 3/10sec. And now he's 2/10 in front. Interesting. Just because of a fork ...

Now let's see whether he can improve his lap times until Sunday, like Jorge and Dani will be doing...

As with any sport, IMHO it's more about the confidence to push that little bit extra without the feeling you might drop it. Such a fine line between being fastest and being 2 ot 3 tenths down.

Watching Casey today, the way he handles that machine is a thing of beauty. I can't tell you a thing about technique or what he is doing, I'd make a fool of myself if I tried, but I'm in awe watching him control a slide - and he seems to beat the Ducati into submission to the point of it begging for its momma, weeping in the garage and promising never to be bad again. He drives me crazy with his half-empty glass perspective and I was literally on the "Casey? Whatever!" bandwagon not too long ago but I have to give him props.

OK, now that I got that out - Go Ben! Go Dani! (my boys). :)