Indy MotoGP: Grip issues slow Valentino Rossi
A lack of grip and a bumpy track surface at the world famous Indianapolis track left Valentino Rossi down in fifth place on the practice timesheets.
The Italian only climbed into the top five in the closing stages as he struggled down in ninth for much of the session, which was run in gloriously sunny conditions.
The reigning world champion ended with a best time of 1.41.623 to finish just 0.041s clear of American Colin Edwards in sixth.
But significantly Rossi was a massive 0.739s adrift of fastest rider Casey Stoner as he struggled to find a set-up with his Fiat Yamaha to absorb the Indy bumps.
Rossi, who is still finding his way back to full fitness after breaking his right leg in Mugello in early June, said: “It was a difficult practice because this track is tricky.
There’s no grip and a lot of bumps and it is difficult to ride here because the corners are wide, wide, wide and then close. It is difficult to take the right line and at the same time there are lots of different surfaces that doesn’t have very good grip and there are a lot of bumps.
"I feel good physically and we improve a lot with the shoulder and leg coming better. The problem is more the setting so we have to work more.
"We need to improve how the bike absorbs the bumps and the grip in acceleration because here it is very demanding for the edge of the tyre and you need to have a good setting to save the tyre for all the race.”