Apart from the weather, the biggest talking point during day one of the inaugural Indianapolis Grand Prix was the track surface - with new and old sections of the new road course providing contrasting levels of grip.

Tech 3 Yamaha's Colin Edwards, 15th in both sessions, described the new first part of the lap as being like the low grip Donington Park asphalt - renowned for being treacherous in the wet - whilst the older final section of the circuit is similar to the more grippy Estoril asphalt.

"You've got two parts to the track. You've got what I call Donington on the first six or seven corners, and then you've got Portugal over here on the last part of the track. It's just basically the assessment of grip," declared Edwards. "Portugal, the way the tarmac is, it's like the last few corners [of Indy], Donington is like the first few corners.

"You get this flat, black tarmac without any stones and you get little depressions in it, and water fills those depressions," he said of the first part of the lap. "Once you get them all figured out, it's not bad. The problem is when it rains a lot those areas swell, and then they take over whole areas that used to be good. That's kind of the issue with a lot of rain."

But in terms of the actual track layout, Edwards believes the Speedway has done a great job of making the circuit feel like a 'normal' road course.

"They've done a fantastic job of making it not feel like an oval track," he said. "I've raced on many of them in the U.S., Daytona and Texas and all these oval tracks that you have to race at, and it just seems much less like an oval track.

"Once you get through Turn 1 [at Indy], it feels like a normal racetrack, and that's pretty cool. You don't get that feeling out of any oval track that I'm aware of. Normally most ovals they're trying to fit in a paddock, motorhomes, all that stuff, and then you have to figure out where to put a racetrack. They've done a good job, it works great here."

And what are his plans for Saturday's qualifying session?

"I think I just need to take the brain out of things," replied Colin. "Sometimes being older and wiser is not the best scenario with all the young punks out here..."

Team-mate James Toseland was 17th fastest.


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