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Stoner crashes in tricky wet conditions but ends up third

Stoner crashes in tricky wet conditions but ends up third

World Champion Casey Stoner suffered a painful crash but finished third on the overall timesheets on day one at Indy, while his teammate Marco Melandri was down in fourteenth.

Ducati´s Casey Stoner was third on the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix Friday timesheets courtesy of his best effort in the morning run, a session at the end of which he was flicked off his Desmosedici GP8 and suffered bumps and bruises, including a knock to his already injured wrist.

Only one of the 19 MotoGP riders out on track was able to improve his times in the afternoon session as the rain worsened, Dani Pedrosa bettering his best effort at the bottom of the timesheet, whilst Stoner registered the eighth fastest time of FP2 as he sought to rebuild his confidence.

On the other side of the Ducati pit-box Marco Melandri was tenth fastest in the afternoon but fourteenth quickest overall - courtesy of a best lap recorded earlier in the day in the opening 90 minute free practice run.

Casey Stoner - third

`The track conditions vary drastically between the old surface and the new. Grip is good on the old stuff but there isn´t even minimum grip on the recently laid asphalt and the rain makes it much worse because it isn´t draining off. If it continues to rain like it did this afternoon then I´m not sure the conditions will be safe enough to race in. As far as the layout is concerned there are only a couple of critical areas - in particular turn five, where the run-off is very short. There´s not much we can do about that right now though - the best thing would be to stick an air-fence in. This morning I crashed on the section where the grip is poorest and that´s obviously not good for the wrist but thankfully it didn´t create any major problems.´

Marco Melandri - fourteenth

`I like the design of the circuit – it´s fun but unfortunately there are too many different types of asphalt and the new part is definitely the worst, especially with the rain. The bike tends to aquaplane and you can´t see anything because of the reflection off the water. Grip on the older part is good, although if it keeps raining it´s going to get really difficult. There are two or three dangerous corners: turns one, five and six, where the walls are too close. This morning we started out cautiously but we improved towards the end, whilst this afternoon we didn´t get chance to make too many improvements because the conditions were so bad.´

MotoGP, 2008, RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GRAND PRIX, Marco Melandri, Casey Stoner

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