Indianapolis MotoGP: Storms threaten Indy race

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Thunderstorms forecast for Sunday have placed the inaugural Indianapolis MotoGP under serious threat after Valentino Rossi confirmed the race would be abandoned in torrential rain.

Rossi said a repeat of the torrential rain that disrupted yesterday afternoon's second free practice session would see the race canceled after riders discussed safety concerns at last night's Safety Commission meeting.

Rossi said all the riders had voted unanimously that it would be too dangerous to ride in heavy rain.

The second session saw monsoon like conditions hit the famous Indianapolis circuit yesterday, and riders voiced concerns about standing water and aquaplaning on new sections of tarmac.

The biggest issue is at the first four corners, where the road course features new paving.

Rossi said race bosses were constantly monitoring forecasts, and one solution could be to be move the 28-lap MotoGP race to an earlier slot in the schedule, with heavy rain forecast for later in the day. The MotoGP race is schedule to start at 3pm local time (8pm UK).

Fiat Yamaha rider Rossi said: "Yesterday we speak in the safety commission. First we have to wait for the forecast tonight for tomorrow. If the forecast says at three o-clock we have rain maybe we change the start time, put earlier. Anyway, if during the race or before the race it rains like yesterday afternoon in the last ten minutes, we don't race.

"Everybody agrees, all the riders agree, (Carmelo) Ezpeleta agree. Like yesterday is impossible. If rain is normal like in the morning it is possible, but if rain too much we have to decide, all the riders are agree with Ezpeleta, with everybody."

Reigning world champion Casey Stoner said it was impossible to ride tomorrow if the rain lashed down as strong as it did in the closing stages of practice.

The Aussie said: "It would be impossible to race. At the end of the session when everybody pulled in, they pulled in for a reason. If it is like that on race day there is no way they can have a race."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt