Indianapolis MotoGP: James Toseland alarmed by grip levels

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British rider James Toseland reckons a repeat of the torrential downpours that hit the opening day of practice in Indianapolis during Sunday’s race will make it ‘impossible’ to ride.

The Tech 3 Yamaha rider ended 17th on the opening day of free practice for the inaugural Indy race, but he was more concerned about track conditions than his lowly position on the timesheets.

Several riders have raised concerns about standing water at certain sections of the new circuit, particularly on the new tarmac where drainage has proved to be a serious issue.

Toseland said: “I’m not too disheartened with my position and the lap times I was doing in the worse conditions were not bad compared to the rest. We didn’t have a good setting for when the track was pretty good for the start of the session this afternoon, but when I went back out again it had rained hard and there was lying water in parts of the track.

"You needed to do a lap time in the first 20 minutes and we didn’t. But in the middle of the session when the times were slower we weren’t too far away at all. It was one of those days when you could have been up the front or down the bottom.

"The big issue is the puddles on the new surface. With the amount of rain we had this afternoon, it made it nearly unrideable. You aquaplane for at least two metres before you turn in at the first corner and that isn’t a lot of fun.

"This morning when it wasn’t raining so much, there was still a big puddle in the first corner, but this afternoon the rain made it nearly impossible. The old surface is absolutely fine but we are really struggling for grip in the sections where the new surface is. You aquaplane because the puddles in places must be two or three inches deep.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt