Track conditions were the talk of the paddock this weekend at the Indianapolis GP, as riders battled the changing tarmac surfaces, and undulating bumps of the Indy infield. Perhaps most vocal of his displeasure with the course was Ducati rider Casey Stoner, who called the Indianapolis Motor Speedway not a world class track, and specifically complained about plastic drains that would catch riders as the ventured in towards the edge of the track (Rossi also complained of these drains).
Teammate Nicky Hayden was less critical before Sunday’s race though, saying that Stoner’s comments could be applied to many of the courses on the MotoGP calendar. However after losing a knee puck to one of the drainage grates that Stoner criticized earlier, Hayden may be re-thinking his tune.
The loss of his left-side knee puck meant that Hayden could not drag a knee for many of the course’s turns, which favors left-handers heavily. Obviously dragging his leathers despite the loss of the puck, Hayden says he could have made a better showing if it wasn’t for the knee puck becoming detached from his suit. Warning: If you don’t like seeing road rash, avoid the picts after the jump.
“I still can’t believe what happened. I am so disappointed,” lamented Hayden. “I was being careful over the first few laps because in that heat, the track was very greasy.”
“I lost the front slightly on the third lap and caught my left knee on a drain cover on one of the curbs, right where the knee slider attaches to the Velcro. There are so many left-hand corners here … from that point on, I had to take it really steady. I couldn’t push anywhere and finished up with a huge hole in my leathers. I am incredibly disappointed because we had to the pace to put in a performance today.”
Asphalt & Rubber gives Hayden the Hero of Indy award for literally dragging his knee this Sunday.
Photos: Nicky Hayden (Facebook)