Casey Stoner believes it may not be safe to race at Indianapolis if Friday afternoon's heavy rain returns on Sunday.

As promised by local weather forecasts, the effects of Hurricane Ike made for an increasingly wet debut on the new Indianapolis MotoGP circuit.

The opening free practice session, extended by half an hour to give the riders time to learn the track, took place under grey skies and was hampered by constant drizzle - which quickly intensified during the afternoon, eventually forcing all riders to abandon the second session five minutes early.

"If it continues to rain like it did this afternoon then I'm not sure the conditions will be safe enough to race in," said the reigning MotoGP world champion.

2006 world champion Nicky Hayden and fellow American Colin Edwards agreed with Stoner.

"I would think if it was raining as hard as it was at the end of the session, it'd be impossible to race about anywhere," said Hayden.

"If it rains like this morning then we're fine, let's go racing. If it's like this [afternoon], then we might have to delay [the race] a little bit or just wait for the timing in the weather," commented Edwards.

Stoner had finished the morning session third fastest, despite crashing on his final lap, having been caught out by one of the recently laid sections of asphalt, where grip levels appear to be lower than other areas of the circuit.

"This morning I crashed on the section where the grip is poorest and that's obviously not good for the wrist but thankfully it didn't create any major problems," said Stoner, referring to an old scaphoid break, which he recently discovered has never healed.

"The new surface on the track is really, really bad," declared the young Australian. "There doesn't seem to be any grip whatsoever, or any feeling. The old surface, you can definitely tell it's old, but the grip is a lot better and you get a lot more feedback from it.

"Also, I think the new parts of the circuit they've put in - with the new surface - they're all very tight and very twisty. The older surface - you can definitely tell the track was quite nice and it seemed to flow quite nicely.

"There definitely is not enough runoff in some areas," he added. "There's some pretty fast corners - especially in the wet - if you manage to crash you won't be able to stop until you hit a wall. There's a few points that need to be improved, but overall the track is not too bad."

Team-mate Marco Melandri, who was 14th and tenth fastest, agreed with Stoner's description - but likes the layout.

"I like the design of the circuit - it's fun but unfortunately there are too many different types of asphalt and the new part is definitely the worst, especially with the rain," said the Italian.

"The bike tends to aquaplane and you can't see anything because of the reflection off the water. Grip on the older part is good, although if it keeps raining it's going to get really difficult.

"There are two or three dangerous corners: turns one, five and six, where the walls are too close," he added.


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