Indianapolis Motor Speedway Modifies Course for MotoGP

10/02/2013 @ 5:30 pm, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Modifies Course for MotoGP Sunday Indianapolis GP MotoGP Scott Jones 10 635x422

Astute motorsport aficionados may have noticed that Indianapolis Motor Speedway debuted a new infield layout for IndyCar’s new and upcoming GP of Indianapolis, which in turn begs the question whether the new infield changes for IndyCar will affect the course for MotoGP. We called up IMS to get the scoop, and the answer is yes…but also no.

For starters, MotoGP will continue to run the infield course in a counter-clockwise direction (that same direction as the oval course), which is opposite of what IndyCar will do for the GP of Indianapolis. Before we get into the confusing bits, we should say that the new course layout of MotoGP will continue to consist of 16 turns, and gets a modest increase in distance: 2.645 miles over the previous 2.621 miles.

With IndyCar running a slightly different 14-turn course, it can get confusing trying to compare IndyCar turns with MotoGP turns, since they are in reverse order numerically, so we will cover here just the changes that will affect Indianapolis GP (MotoGP)  – car guys, go to your own damn blog site if you want the low-down on the GP of Indianapolis (IndyCar).

For MotoGP, there are three big changes afoot. First, the T2-T3-T4 complex of turns has been modified to make an easier transition off and back onto the IMS oval. Turn 2 is now a constant radius turn, and sets up an easier transition back and forth through Turn 3 and Turn 4.

The second big change is to the T7-T8-T9 complex, where Turn 7 has been opened up from its near 90° degree bend, to more of a dogleg that allows for another smooth transition between Turn 8 and Turn 9, which then leads to the back straight of the infield course.

The third and final major change is at T15 & T16. Like the other changes, Turn 15 has been opened up to make the series of turns easier to flick the GP bikes through, with the hope then that T16 will be an easier transition for the riders onto the front straightaway of the oval course.

With these three sections being the trouble spots in the past for riders in terms of crashing, the hope is that not only will the racing be better for the fans, but also safer for the competitors.

The last modification worth mentioning is that Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be paving the infield with a single type of asphalt, which should mean consistent grip throughout the course — a major complaint levied by the GP riders against the IMS infield course.

Construction is expected to be completed by early December, which should allow for plenty of time for the pavement to cure and weather through the winter. Testing then will be conducted in the spring, and IMS will host two car races on the infield course before MotoGP comes to town.

Barring major rains ahead of the MotoGP race weekend, this should mean that plenty of rubber will be laid down on the track ahead of the Indianapolis GP.

This new infield track layout is expected to be the Grand Prix course going forth (assuming MotoGP stays at IMS past its 2014 contract), though Indy says it remains open to feedback from riders, and that modifications could still be made for future events.

A new track map, and official details, are expected from Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the coming days. More when we get it.

Photo: © 2013 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. jkobflys says:

    You can put lipstick on a pig….

  2. Seth says:

    Agreed… It’s still an akward backwards track. Yet we drop Laguna, the best track in America?! Sad day

  3. crshnbrn says:

    I’m sad to read Laguna is being dropped, but glad to read Indy is making the changes to keep a MotoGP race. The infield at Indy is tight & technical, especially turns T7 – T9. Hopefully the changes will result in the infield having better flow.

  4. Jake F. says:

    As much as I hate seeing Laguna go, you have to hand it to IMS and the great people of Indianapolis for fully embracing MotoGP and adopting the whatever-it-takes mentality to keep the Indy GP on the calendar. I wish Mazda Raceway received even half the support from the local community that IMS does.

  5. TexusTim says:

    the riders wouls rather have laguna then indy…this should be one of the factors dorna should keep in mind when playing around wioth the american market like the seem to do…first they want more fans but they make decissions that are unpopular with fans and riders ? the indy scene is just thst the people around that area love it of course but for the rest of the country it is the least favorite venue motogp races at were laguna even thouhg difficult is far more popular not only in person but on tv..which brings us to the third thing dorna has backwards they need to make a deal at least for the american broadcast that putd it on “free Tv” on of the majaor broadcasters stations as long as they go the direction there headed there making this about an elite spectator sport not for the masses just like f1 if you cant afford the memorbilla or watch it on tv whats the use ? cuz at this rate not amny will be making trips to austin or indy next year mark my words attendtence will be less than all years previous…now dorna moves on in india and south america also minimising there precense here?…this is backasswards to garner new fans..this will just empower all the rich elite that this is for them only not for us regular guys and gals.

  6. TexusTim says:

    o jensen we call car drivers here cagers you now they drive around in a cage never having the freedom we have…keep up the great work you do keeping us up to date.thnx

  7. Jimbo says:

    Jake F +1

    I agree – I think any Track that is willing to fully embrace Moto GP is a good thing.

  8. BrianZ says:

    @Seth-LS is “NOT” the best track in America, there I said it. COTA is much better in every way. Part of the GP experience on track is to see and hear these machines do what they were designed to do, and Laguna simply limits them in so many ways. A good track helps enable them to exploit every piece of engineering they are designed with. Indy has more potential to exploit these machines as well, and hopefully with the new changes, we will see this even moreso.

    @JakeF and Jimbo- another +1, especially in the depressed $$$ state that racing is in right now.

  9. Seth says:

    @brianz you have a point… COTA looks amazing, and I’m hoping to treck out there for next year. But, I’m a California kid, so I have an irrational love for Laguna which cannot be swayed. ;-)

  10. PD says:

    What is the logic behind running MotoGP in the reverse direction to IndyCar (and F1 previously)?

  11. BrianZ says:

    @Seth-I am an East Coaster myself and wish I had access to some of the conditions and tracks that you guys do. I have to settle for VIR which ain’t so bad.

    @PD-I think the logic origionally was based on the amount of speed the bikes generate on the oval straight portion combined with braking forces for what would then be turn 1, and Turn 1 would end up being a freaking bus stop crash zone with the tops speeds of the bikes being ( purely a guess on this figure) about 15mph less that what they currently hit on the straight.

  12. PD says:

    @BrianZ: I do see that that may indeed be a problem. However, I don’t quite see why that wouldn’t be a problem for cars as well, in fact may be even more so given that they are bigger (less track space), and probably brake harder and later (4 wheels w/ huge contact patches).

  13. irksome says:

    Running the course counter to it’s designed intent led to too few passing opportunities; hopefully this was why they modified. But you can’t fix flat.

  14. crshnbrn says:

    The main straightaway must remain flat because it is part of the Speedway, but it might be possible to put some elevation change into the infield portion of the track. Mr. Beeler, can you call IMS back and make a suggestion?

  15. Yeah, I’m not sure how much pull I have with the IMS brass…

  16. Anvil says:

    @PD: running it in reverse was the only way it could be approved by the FIM for safety reasons.

    @crshnbrn: I’ve had the same thought. I can imagine it would take hauling and grading huge amounts of earth to pull it off and lots of repaving which means lots of $$$. I also wonder whether IMS would be willing to drastically alter the whole infield permanently, considering it’s used as spectator camping/viewing for big oval events like the 500 and Brickyard race.

    Now that there will be an IndyCar GP road race there, maybe they could be convinced to add elevation to at least part of it. Start writing.