Dani Pedrosa lapped the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at record pace to finish fastest in Friday Practice. The Spaniard dominated the afternoon session with his lead standing at over a second before a late rally by the factory Yamahas.
Casey Stoner set the pace in the morning session but the headlines in FP1 were made by Hector Barbera who suffered a nasty highside on his Pramac Ducati. Barbera was making his return from a broken leg sustained in a training accident but today’s spill caused fractures to his fifth, sixth and eighth dorsal vertebrae, ruling him out for the rest of the weekend. As at Laguna Seca, Toni Elias has been called in to fill the breach.
In the afternoon, Pedrosa was quickest from the get-go and led early on with a 1:41.190. None of his rivals could beat that time but Dani piled on the misery with a 1:40.152 on his next attempt. Jorge Lorenzo led the rest of the field in second and it wasn’t until his teammate upped the pace in the final twenty minutes that Pedrosa came under any threat.
Ben Spies closed to within half a second on his second run and after a brief spell in the pits, set about narrowing the gap still further. The former polesitter here improved to a 1:40.346 but no sooner had he done that, Pedrosa raised the bar yet again, clocking a 1:39.783 to beat Casey Stoner’s circuit record by a tenth.
Spies and Lorenzo both set their fastest times at the very end of the session but neither could match Pedrosa, Spies getting the nearest with a 1:40.078. Andrea Dovizioso claimed fourth on the leading satellite Yamaha with teammate Cal Crutchlow sixth behind a subdued Casey Stoner.
Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl were next up with Nicky Hayden the leading Ducati in ninth, edging out teammate Valentino Rossi. Randy de Puniet took the CRT honours on day one and claimed the scalps of both satellite Ducatis in the process, Karel Abraham and Toni Elias finishing twelfth and seventeenth respectively.