The first day of competitive motorcycle action at Indianapolis since 1909 saw Anthony West fastest in both of Friday's wet MotoGP free practice sessions.

The Australian, who has already lost his ZX-RR ride for 2009, used his renowned wet weather skills to claim a narrow 0.117secs advantage in the extended morning session before finishing the soaking wet second session 0.758secs clear of the field.

With the weather deteriorating as the day went on, West was over one second slower during the afternoon hour - when torrential rain relentlessly battered the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Fellow wet weather ace Chris Vermeulen made it an Australian one-two with second position for Rizla Suzuki during the afternoon, while rookie Alex de Angelis - second to West in the morning - completed a highly creditable performance with third place in FP2 for Gresini Honda.

Fiat Yamaha's world championship leader Valentino Rossi was eleventh and fourth during the two track sessions, with home wild-card star Ben Spies (Rizla Suzuki) and rookie Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Team Scot Honda) the only other riders to lap within two seconds of West this afternoon!

Dovizioso was once again the top Michelin rider, with former 250cc rival Jorge Lorenzo less than a tenth slower on the Michelin-shod Fiat Yamaha.

Reigning world champion Casey Stoner survived a late fall in morning practice to claim eighth place during the afternoon, having been third this morning.

Despite the unpredictable mix of new and old asphalt, Sylvain Guintoli was the only notable faller in FP2, losing the front of his Alice Ducati at turn one. In general, the old asphalt is grippy and well drained, while the new asphalt is much more slick.

Dani Pedrosa had been slowest of all on his official debut with Bridgestone tyres and the pneumatic-valve RC212V during FP1, but rose to ninth in the afternoon session, when Stoner's Ducati Marlboro team-mate Marco Melandri completed the top ten.

After Spies, the next best American was Kawasaki's John Hopkins in eleventh, with the injured Nicky Hayden also slipping back to 14th for Repsol Honda whilst Colin Edwards was just 15th in both sessions for Tech 3 Yamaha.

Rizla Suzuki's Loris Capirossi, who recently set a new record for grand prix starts, was a massive 5.4secs slower than West to complete the 19 rider field this afternoon.

Friday practice (2):

1. West
2. Vermeulen
3. de Angelis
4. Rossi
5. Spies
6. Dovizioso
7. Lorenzo
8. Stoner
9. Pedrosa
10. Melandri
11. Hopkins
12. de Puniet
13. Guintoli
14. Hayden
15. Edwards
16. Elias
17. Nakano
18. Toseland
19. Capirossi


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment