Indianapolis MotoGP: Valentino Rossi worried by gloomy forecasts

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Dire weather forecasts predicting more heavy rain in Indianapolis have seen MotoGP world championship leader Valentino Rossi raise concerns about Sunday’s inaugural Indy clash.

The Fiat Yamaha rider finished down in 11th place on a first day dominated by torrential rain which reached monsoon proportions in the second free practice session.

Standing water left bikes aquaplaning on new sections of the Indy road course, built inside its legendary oval circuit.

Italian Rossi, who holds a commanding 75-point lead over title rival Casey Stoner going into the 28-lap race, is concerned by forecasts predicting more heavy rain for Sunday.

“The conditions are quite bad and like this it is a bit at the limit with the grip. But if the rain stays like it was in the morning, for me it is possible to race. We have to see if it rains very, very much, but with a lot of rain for sure it is dangerous, “said the 29-year-old.

Rossi though was at least relieved not to find any serious safety issues with the Indianapolis circuit, even though he said that several modifications would be needed for the 2009 race.

He added: The first impression is not bad. The layout is quite good and the run-off area is not so bad. Turn One and Turn Five maybe are at the limit but quite good. Some places are similar to the Rio circuit.

"It has some points that are very technical and some difficult corners in a row where you have to understand the right line. Unfortunately there are some points that are quite bad with some problem. I think the worst point are Turn One where Stoner crashed and Turn Five. The point where from the oval we cut and go on the road course, they have to improve the track because there are four or five different types of asphalt together and it is very difficult to understand the grip.

"Unfortunately the new surface is a bit worse than the old one because it doesn’t have very good grip. Another thing is there are some strange kerbs that we have to modify because they are quite dangerous. They are flat with some holes in the centre and if you slide in front then maybe it is dangerous.

"For me for this year it is okay but for next year they have to improve in some points. Also the last corner because from the road course entering the oval you have a different angle and surface and it is quite difficult to control the bike. But for next year we have to improve.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt