2014 Indy MotoGP Friday Practice ResultsAs the 23-rider MotoGP grid headed to American for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, each rider knew challenges lay ahead.
Not only the obstacle of the young sensation Marc Marquez, but also a new layout at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that provides harder braking zones and additional areas for passing opportunities.The 16-turn circuit is now 2.591 miles compared to 2.621 in the previous editions since MotoGP competition began there in 2008. This shortness arrives from a reconfiguration of turns 3, 4, 7, 15 and 16, which are now “more uniform” with a smoother racing surface.With this in mind, the grid set out Friday morning for the first of four free practices. And as the riders began tuning their prototypes in Free Practice 1, one rider was constantly at the top of the time sheets – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi.The nine-time World Champion, who won the inaugural Indy MotoGP in 2008, ended FP1 with the top time – a 1:34.535. The Italian was followed closely by Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith and Pramac Racing Ducati’s Andrea Iannone.But things changed drastically in the second and final Friday 45-minute practice session when Marquez dialed in his Repsol Honda RC213V. The 21-year-old Spaniard was able to outpace the grid with a top lap of 1:32.882 – nearly two seconds quicker than Rossi’s top FP1 time.This was no surprise for Marquez, who won at Indy the past three years. And he has been on a complete tear this season, winning the opening nine rounds – a feat not accomplished since Giacomo Agostini in 1970.Marquez wasn’t quick the entire sessions. He put in his hot laps during the final moments of FP2, eventually finishing 1.5 seconds quicker than his morning time. He was followed 0.222 of a second behind by Iannone – who will ride for factory Ducati next year – and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo.The two-time MotoGP Champion Lorenzo, who won at Indy in 2009, trailed by 0.542 of a second. The other big news of the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix arrived Thursday when Yamaha confirmed Lorenzo will ride the factory YZR-M1 for another two years.Next up were two riders who had podium results in the opening nine rounds so far in 2014 MotoGP, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa. Dovi trailed by 0.550 of a second, and Pedrosa by 0.611.Rounding out the top 10 were LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati’s Yonny Hernandez, NGM Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro, Rossi, and Smith.The injured Nicky Hayden watched on as his substitute rider Leon Camier put in a positive performance on the Drive M7 Aspar. Learning a new track on a bike with new tires and brakes, Camier was able to knock more than 3.5 seconds off his FP1 time. But, unfortunately, he finished dead last in 23rd, 3.512 seconds off his top time.As for the other American, the retiring Colin Edwards was 16th quickest in FP2, 2.112 of a second off the top time.The riders return to Indy Saturday for two additional practice sessions ahead of qualifying. Fox Sports 1 will broadcast qualifying highlights at 3 a.m. ET Sunday, Aug. 10.For a preview of round 10, visit 2014 Indy MotoGP Preview.Photos by Ara Ashjian2014 Indy MotoGP Free Practice 2 Results:
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.