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Stoner Leads Red Bull Indianapolis GP Practice; Hayden Third

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Australian rider Casey Stoner led the first round of MotoGP practice Aug. 27 at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, but American riders occupied three of the top eight positions at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
2007 MotoGP World Champion Stoner was the only rider to break into the 1 minute, 40-second bracket with a fast lap of 1:40.884 on the No. 27 Ducati Team motorcycle.

Stoner and his Ducati teammate, Nicky Hayden, will attempt to unseat the Fiat Yamaha Team duo of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, who won first two MotoGP events at Indianapolis, in 2008 and 2009, respectively, for the Fiat Yamaha Team.

“Out of the box it (the motorcycle) wasn’t great,” Stoner said. “We tried one setting and completely went the wrong way, and it felt horrible. We came back and tried going a different direction and made another step and made it feel a little better, and we tried the last thing to make another improvement and sort of went backward again. We just have to go back and forth until we find that point where we’re getting all aspects of the bike working.”

Current MotoGP championship points leader Jorge Lorenzo was second on the No. 99 Fiat Yamaha at 1:41.109 and Owensboro, Ky., native and 2006 MotoGP champion Hayden was third on the No. 69 Ducati at 1:41.405.

Dani Pedrosa was fourth on the No. 26 Respol Honda Team machine at 1:41.421, and seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi was fifth on the No. 46 Fiat Yamaha at 1:41.623.
Hayden’s fellow American riders, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammates Colin Edwards and Ben Spies, were sixth and eighth, respectively.

Spies and Hayden both slid off course in minor incidents, and neither was injured. Hayden slid into the gravel run-off in Turn 13 about 40 minutes into the one-hour session, causing damage to his bike. He walked away unhurt and finished the session on his backup. Spies crashed in Turn 6 with six minutes left in the session.

“I got in a little bit hot and got offline,” Hayden said. “I thought I was OK and the front lost, but it was a relatively easy crash. Right out of the gate, the bike felt pretty good. The team made a change to the front fork this weekend, but it’s only Friday. For the most part, the bike feels pretty good.

“I love Indy. I mean, this place is in my backyard, practically. The track is awesome. The facility is great. The people are great, and I’m looking forward to a big weekend. It’s still early, so I’ll try to stay calm and get myself in a position for Sunday to try to do something. I need to qualify well tomorrow.”

The Moto2 class made its North American debut with Friday practice, with Scott Redding of Great Britain quickest at 1:46.728. Spanish rider Marc Marquez was quickest in 125cc practice at 1:49.452, and Garrett Gerloff, of Vero Beach, Fla., was quickest in USGPRU Moriwaki MD250 Powered by Honda qualifying at 1:57.513.

Two major announcements were made in the MotoGP paddock during the day.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Dorna officials confirmed that the Red Bull Indianapolis GP would return for a fourth consecutive year, with the 2011 race taking place Aug. 26-28.

Yamaha officials also confirmed that Spies will move up to the manufacturer’s Fiat-sponsored team, taking the seat that Rossi vacates at the end of the season to move to Ducati.

2010 Red Bull Indianapolis GP activities resume Saturday at 9 a.m. with 125cc practice, followed by MotoGP practice at 9:55 a.m. and Moto2 practice at 11:10 a.m. The Speedway’s public gates open at 7 a.m.

125cc qualifying starts at 1 p.m., followed by MotoGP qualifying is scheduled at 1:55 p.m. and Moto2 qualifying at 3:10 p.m. The first USGPRU race of the weekend, starting at 4:30 p.m., will conclude track activity for the day.

***

IMS tickets: Tickets for the 2010 Red Bull Indianapolis GP are on sale now. A new structure offers additional value and flexibility to fans attending the annual MotoGP event.

Among the highlights of the new ticket structure are lower prices and single-day reserved and general admission tickets for Race Day, Sunday, Aug. 29. Children 12 and under will be admitted free any day of the event if accompanied by an adult holding a general admission ticket.

Fans can order tickets online at www.imstix.com, call the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street. Online orders can be made at any time. Hours for phone orders and the ticket office are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

General admission tickets provide access to the grounds, viewing mounds along the infield section of the circuit and selected grandstands, which provide excellent angles to see the greatest riders in the world.

Fans can now print their tickets – three-day reserved seat and Race Day-only general admission and reserved seat tickets – with their printer after ordering tickets online at www.imstix.com.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.

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