Spies heads opening Indianapolis practice
26 August 2011 – 2010 pole-sitter Ben Spies was quickest in the opening Friday practice session at Indianapolis. With a best effort of 1:43.260 on the new track surface, the Yamaha rider topped the timesheets from championship leader Casey Stoner, with fellow Americans Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden also in the top five.
With conditions ideal, crowds were delighted to see the three national riders highly placed, with only the Ducati of Stoner and Gresini Honda of Marco Simoncelli spoiling the symmetry. Italians Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso occupied the next two spots, with Spaniards filling places eight to eleven.
Stoner led the way with 90 seconds to go although Spies soon retook the top spot, just under a comfortable three tenths of a second quicker. With championship contender Jorge Lorenzo managing no more than ninth, Dani Pedrosa was seen entering the pits several times en route to tenth.
Karel Abraham’s Cardion bike was struck by problems early on, which appeared to return five minutes before the end of the session when the Czech returned to the pits.
Second practice at Indianapolis begins at 2:10pm local time (BST -5)