Ryder Notes: Liking Indy
by julian ryder on the ground in Indiana
Friday, August 08, 2014

There was a surreal moment today in FP2 when Valentino Rossi completed a personal-best lap only to find he'd been leading three Ducatis who took advantage of the tow to fill the first three places on the leaderboard for a while. Andrea Iannone, Andrea Dovizioso and Yonny Hernandez seemed to be bust disproving the theory that Ducatis don't like the IMS but normal order was restored shortly afterwards when Marc Marquez took his usual place at the top of the order.

Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Bradl also got among the Ducatis but the sight of the columbian well inside the top ten was not expected - soft tyre notwithstanding.

It is nice to be able to report universal praise for the track modifications since last year. The opening up of three previously tight sections - Turns 2-4, Turns 7-9 and Turns 14-16 onto the front straight - has transformed the track and lowered the lap time by at least five (yes, 5) seconds. There are now no first-gear corners on the track, which has taken away one Honda's main weapons round here. Remember Pedrosa blasting past Ben Spies out of that dead slow corner onto the start/finish straight? We're not going to see that again.

After years of riders smiling nicely and saying things like "This is not my favourite circuit" (Copyright V Rossi), it's nice to be able to say that everyone is seriously impressed with the work the Speedway has done. The modifications to the layout are a massive improvement, the resurfacing has eliminated changes of surface and the bumps that caused havoc in the past.

Happily, we don't need to be mealy mouthed about the Indianapolis GP now.

With that I'm off to Indy Mile.


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