The Indianapolis MotoGP event kicked off on Thursday with the pre-event press conference, attended by Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa, Ben Spies, Nicky Hayden and Marco Simoncelli.
Stoner's control at the top of the standings grew to 32 points after his victory at Brno in the previous round, his second consecutive win and a sixth of the season so far, and the Repsol Honda rider admitted that he arrives at Indianapolis with the aim of getting into his rhythm a lot quicker than the past two rounds.
“We've had a couple of tough race weekends leading up to the race but then we've managed to pull things together for race day and get ourselves up front,” said Stoner of his last two wins, which came in impressive style. “We definitely arrive here with more confidence. If we can get set up a little bit faster here it's going to be a lot more relaxing.”
Stoner added: “It's a very challenging track, it's not a normal brake, enter and exit the corner circuit, there are some tricky little sections to it and there are some faster sections that take more guts than some corners. I'll be looking forward to taking on this track with the Honda.”
The Australian's team-mate Pedrosa, who crashed out of the Brno race whilst leading from pole position, won here last year and will be hoping to replicate the positive weekend he had in the Czech Republic up until his fall.
“In the past I've been quite good here, I've had a pole and a win, and last year's race was amazing for me. I hope this year we can have a good weekend again and a good race,” said Pedrosa, who continues to feel more comfortable with every race. “Every week I feel a little better, the stability of the shoulder is getting better and my feeling is good now – it's not as it was before I broke the collarbones but I can feel well on the bike this weekend.”
“Last race was a disappointing result but the weekend overall wasn't too bad. I was very happy with the performance, and I hope to repeat it here and then in the race,” he concluded.
For Yamaha Factory Racing's Spies the circuit holds special memories of last year, where he took his first and so far only MotoGP pole position, led the race and finished in second place.
“It's a huge race, being Indy, and it's another home race for me. There will be a lot of support from the home crowd and family and friends,” said the Texan, who hopes to benefit from an updated engine tested after the Brno GP. “We have a couple of new pieces this weekend, hopefully to make the bike a bit better. The track surface is different so whilst we don't have to re-learn the track we have some differences from last year.”