Rizla Suzuki riders Chris Vermeulen and Ben Spies put their GSV-Rs inside the top five during Friday afternoon's second free practice session at a soaking wet Indianapolis, but team-mate Loris Capirossi was left 19th and last after his worst day of the season so far.
Vermeulen was sixth in the faster morning session, before climbing up the order during the treacherous afternoon hour, eventually finishing second to only fellow Australian Anthony West.
"This is the first time at Indianapolis, and it's great to have bikes at a place with such a racing history," said Chris. "It's just a shame the weather didn't turn it on today, and we ended up with two very wet sessions. The circuit have done a good job here and they have built a great track, although some of the new surface is different to the old one and it holds water in very different ways, so in the wet it was difficult to get the bike working with any rhythm. We did try a lot of things and the whole team did a good job in the awful conditions.”
For home star Spies, making his third and perhaps final MotoGP appearance for Suzuki, ninth and fifth places in Friday's two session marked a satisfying start.
"It was good today, and we're quite pleased with how it went. We finished both sessions early because it was so wet we weren't going to make any difference," he revealed. "They were both good sessions for us, though, and although the track was a bit awkward in places because the water was laying on the surface, and it made it difficult in parts. I know I still had a bit in reserve, and if the conditions are the same tomorrow I am sure I can go a good bit quicker.”
But Capirossi was far less happy, finishing just 18th and 19th.
"I think this was a bit of a negative day for me today, not just my position but the fact that I never found a good setting," admitted the Italian. "We tried to change things throughout the day, but the biggest problem was how bad the conditions were and we just didn't seem to be able to make any improvements. It is easy to say this about the track, but it is the same for everybody and I just struggled out there today. Today has been the worst day of the season, but I am not going to let that bother me because we have to improve tomorrow and I know that we will!"