Indianapolis MotoGP: Casey Stoner third but unhappy

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Reigning world champion Casey Stoner’s tough period continued on the opening day in Indianapolis today, with the Aussie third fastest but far from happy in treacherous conditions.

Stoner walked away unhurt from another crash in this morning’s opening free practice session, and while he is trying to keep it under wraps, the 22-year-old is clearly struggling with the old left wrist injury that flared up again last month in Misano.

Stoner was critical of the varying grip levels on the new Indianapolis track and he said: “The new surface on the track is really, really bad. There doesn’t seem to be any grip whatsoever, or any feeling.

"The old surface, you can definitely tell it’s old, but the grip is a lot better and you get a lot more feedback from it. Also, I think the new parts of the circuit they’ve put in - with the new surface - they’re all very tight and very twisty. The older surface – you can definitely tell the track was quite nice and it seemed to flow quite nicely.

"The track conditions vary drastically between the old surface and the new. Grip is good on the old stuff but there isn't even minimum grip on the recently laid asphalt and the rain makes it much worse because it isn't draining off.

"At the end of the first session I crashed on the section where the grip is poorest and that's obviously not good for the wrist but thankfully it didn't create any major problems. I tried to get back on but it wasn't possible, otherwise I would have come back on the bike. In general I'm quite satisfied with how we've started."

Stoner also said he had some safety concerns at the iconic motorsport venue, which hosts its first motorcycle race in nearly 100 years on Sunday.

“As far as security is concerned there are only a couple of critical areas - in particular turn five, where the run-off is very short. There's not much we can do about that right now though - the best thing would be to stick an air-fence in. There definitely is not enough runoff in some areas.

"There’s some pretty fast corners - especially in the wet – if you manage to crash you won’t be able to stop until you hit a wall. There’s a few points that need to be improved, but overall the track is not too bad.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt