RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GP MotoGP POST-PRACTICE QUOTES – Friday, Aug. 28
CHRIS VERMEULEN (No. 7 Rizla Suzuki MotoGP): "What normally works in the rain gives us a general indication of what will work in the dry, so this session was very important. This track is very difficult in wet conditions. There are two very different surfaces out there. The new part (Turns 1, 2, 3, 4) is the new tarmac, and the very end of the circuit is the very old tarmac. In the wet, it’s very difficult to ride in. It was difficult, but it will help us prepare. I didn’t really get a clear lap when the track was at its best, its driest. There’s a lot more potential in me and the bike. We have some improvements to make. I’m sure we’ll be closer to the front Saturday."
RANDY DE PUNIET (No. 14 LCR Honda MotoGP): "Today was a special day because it was raining, and it wasn’t necessary for me to make too many laps. The most important thing for me was to keep my ankle (broken in a motocross accident during the summer break) fit for qualifying and the race. I heard the weather forecast was much better for Sunday. That’s why, for me, the session was sufficient. My ankle is feeling better. I have more flexibility. and I can push more on the left side. I think it will be better. Shifting is not so easy because we have so many left-hand corners. I think Sunday it will be better."
NICKY HAYDEN (No. 69 Ducati Team): "It felt pretty good. Obviously, I need dry setup time, but we were up front, so I felt quite good. The team did a good job and made a couple of changes on the front suspension that allowed us to turn a lot better. It was slippery and then quite technical because parts of the track was wetter than others. But we stayed on and ended up top and got some good data. Indy is good to me in the wet. Last year it was good in the wet. If I get a good result, I don’t care if it snows. Certainly you can learn stuff on the data as far as setting up the electronics or fuel mapping and stuff, but you learn more in case it does get wet on Sunday. We learned a couple little things. Any wet time you can get – maybe it’s not going to help us this weekend, but it’s going to rain again this year. It’s good information. I like being up front. Certainly, it’s been a hard season for me. Everybody knows that I’ve had big crashes and not a lot of great results, and my job is on the line. So it is good to come here and man up with it. But I’ve got to do it Sunday. Ain’t nobody going to remember Friday afternoon, so that’s what I’ve got to do on Sunday."
VALENTINO ROSSI (No. 46 Fiat Yamaha Team): "The forecasters say that the rain arrive around 5 o’clock, but the rain arrive a lot before and it made for a wet practice. Unfortunately, there are two or three parts of the track, especially the new surface, that don’t have enough drainage. So when there’s a lot of rain, there’s a big amount of water on the track, and it’s quite dangerous. We look forward to tomorrow for the conditions to improve, especially for Sunday." (On the better weather forecast for the weekend): "Fantastic; a lot better. This track has good grip in the dry, so everybody hopes for a good condition after the bad conditions last year." (You stayed in the garage a long time. Did you think the conditions were going to get better?): "No, I stay in to save the engine."
MARCO MELANDRI (No. 33 Hayate Racing Team): "It was a difficult day. On the wet, this is a very difficult track because we have so many different surfaces. It was a good session. My lap time wasn’t so great at the end, but my lap time in the middle session was good. I’m very confident in these conditions. We have only one set of rain tires per session, so we ran in the middle of the session. In the end, I couldn’t improve my lap because the tire was completely gone. It’s OK. I was working, thinking about the race. I’m looking forward to it."
MIKA KALLIO (No. 36 Ducati Team): "I think for everybody it was really difficult. We knew already from last year, with weather like this, it is difficult to understand how fast you can be. It is important to be out in these kinds of conditions because if the weather is like this on Sunday, we need to have some information. Anyway, I hope that we can have better weather on Sunday because, like I said, it was really difficult for everyone."
COLIN EDWARDS (No. 5 Monster Yamaha Tech 3): "You know, we had a hurricane here last year. We waited a whole year to come back and ride in some rain again. But it is what it is. Hopefully we’ll get some dry weather tomorrow; especially Sunday. I’d like to give these fans a good show out here. Enough rain; let’s start over." (Compared to last year this is easy, right?): "This is a piece of cake compared to last year without the wind and all of that stuff. It was pretty good. I was pretty happy with our setting. We did quite a bit of work, got the bike working good. We’ll just have to work backwards, find a dry setting and be ready tomorrow." (On the track conditions throughout the course): "It’s strange; you just have to commit. You see standing water all over the place. Normally you get sphincter overload, I call it, whenever you start running across it. It just wasn’t that bad today. You had little puddles that you’d try to dodge, really. But once you found a good line, you were OK."
GABOR TALMACSI (No. 41 Scot Racing Team MotoGP): "I was here last year in the 125cc class, and I was very much impressed. This will be only my second event in MotoGP. We are a small team, but we are hoping to continue to improve and do well. We tried some new setups here, and I was happy with them. I am not so much concerned with qualifying. I just want to continue to improve."
JAMES TOSELAND (No. 52 Monster Yamaha Tech 3): "MotoGP is used to this weather the last two years. Everywhere we go, we seem to get some rain. Being a British guy, I’m used to it. The new surface on the track is really, really tricky. It holds the water and it starts to puddle, and you aqua-plane. It’s quite dangerous. The old surface is one of the grippiest surfaces I’ve ever ridden in the wet. So you’ve got half the track where you’ve never had so much grip in your life and half the track where you have completely zero grip. It’s a completely different balance with the bike you’ve got to find." (On going into qualifying Saturday): "Today was a 40 percent chance (of rain), so I hope it’s not 41 tomorrow. We’ve got a 60 percent chance of it not doing too much. We’ve got to look on the positive side and hope for the fans and everybody they’re not going to get wet tomorrow." (On his concert performance with his band Crash, scheduled for Saturday): "That’s the easy part. I can play the piano and sing without even thinking about it. But out there when there’s puddles to challenge at 150 mph, you’ve got to concentrate. But I’ll get tomorrow out of the way, get qualifying done and do the best we can. Then, once I calm down, I can chill out and play some keyboards."
JORGE LORENZO (No. 99 Fiat Yamaha Team): "This track has three kinds of asphalt, and in some places the bikes looked like they were at sea! The riding style was very complicated to get right today, above all in the first two sectors, but anyway I’m quite happy, especially because this is my first start after confirming that I’ll stay with Yamaha next year, and I’m proud to be here. I felt quite confident today even in the bad weather, but hopefully tomorrow the sun will shine and we can see where we are in the dry." (About re-signing with Yamaha for 2010): "Yeah, I’m happy, very happy. It’s good thing to continue with Yamaha because I know the bike. I think we can do better next year. We can be faster." (About chance of catching Valentino Rossi in the points this year): "I think it’s almost impossible. It’s possible, but 50 points may be too much." (On the conditions compared to last year): "It’s the same, but we couldn’t use the data from last year because we’re not on Michelin tires now."
TONI ELIAS (No. 24 San Carlo Honda Gresini): "I’m not happy that we (didn’t) start how we start before. But we (saw) what the biggest problem for tomorrow (is) if it rains. We will be much faster than we were today."
DANI PEDROSA (No. 3 Repsol Honda Team): "This was a very good start to the weekend, and in wet conditions we are looking in good shape. It was raining for the whole session, and we had good grip even though there were some big patches of standing water around the track. I felt confident and was able to push hard, and actually it’s been a quite long time since I’ve felt that confident in wet conditions and been happy to push to the maximum. If it’s dry tomorrow, that’s also good for us, even though the only thing we can really take forward from today’s session is the gearing information. This track is unusual to ride because it’s been designed to run in the other direction and so the apex of some of the corners feels very strange. Still, even in the rain, there is a unique atmosphere here, and it’s a special place to ride."
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO (No. 4 Repsol Honda Team): "(Running in the rain today) was really strange, but similar to last year. There (are) two different asphalts and on the black one, the grip is really bad, especially on the wet parts. It’s so difficult to manage the bike. The problem is, on the old asphalt the grip is so good it really consumes a lot of tire. And when we go on black asphalt there is no grip, and it’s so difficult to manage. We don’t want to use two sets of tires because we have just four for all of the weekend. So we kept one set, and at the end it was completely slick tires, and it was so dangerous to ride the bike. In the wet conditions this is a problem, but (on a dry track) it’s completely different. Sure, consumption of the tire will still be really strong, but Bridgestone brought a really hard tire here. Everybody says it will be dry but cooler (the rest of the weekend). I think the track will be a little bit better tomorrow. We just have to drive on the dry track to understand our situation."