Indianapolis MotoGP: Anthony West shines in torrential rain

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Anthony West might have been axed from Kawasaki’s factory MotoGP squad for 2009, but the Aussie produced a stunning display in Indianapolis to dominate a rain-lashed opening day of free practice.

West, who has been dumped after a disappointing campaign alongside John Hopkins, clocked a best time of 1.53.034 this morning, which was good enough to claim top spot on combined times. With conditions rapidly deteriorating in this afternoon’s session, only Dani Pedrosa bettered his time after this morning.

He said: “This is a great way to start the weekend, especially after the results we've had recently. There's a lot of water out on the circuit, and it's a bit strange as there are quite a few changes of surface, but I've found my way around here quite easily, so I'm feeling happy.

"In some ways this track is a bit like those I used to ride on back home in Australia, because many of the circuits there have inconsistent surfaces, and I've found it relatively easy to adapt my riding style to suit the changes throughout a lap here.

"The bike is working well, and although we've had a few scary moments, I'm feeling pretty confident for tomorrow. It's promising that we can come to a new track, learn the lines quickly, and be able to put in good lap times quite comfortably."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt