Indianapolis Motor Speedway has announced that it has begun repaving the infield section of its road course, which should finally resolve surface conditions MotoGP riders have complained about while racing at the Indianapolis GP. Repaving Turn 5 thorough Turn 16, Indy will lay over 1.5 miles of asphalt, and if the weather permits, the work should be done by the end of this week.
According to the circuit it is grinding the current tarmac flat, and then laying fresh pavement over the resurfaced track. The new asphalt will match existing pavement on the remainder of the GP circuit, thus eliminating any sort of surface inconsistency issues.
This is the first time that the IMS infield has been resurfaced since its construction in 2000, and comes so during a time where Indy was under growing pressure to upgrade its track surface. Though Indianapolis Motor Speedway has outstanding world class facilities (we can attest to the venues staff and facilities), it’s track surface has always been a bone of contention with riders (we can’t comment on this aspect). One of the most vocal critics of the track during the 2010 Indianapolis GP was Casey Stoner, who found himself caught out on a number of Indy’s bumps and humps.
“It just seems that it’s not a world class circuit,” lamented Stoner. “Maybe the shape of it and everything can be, but the surface definitely isn’t. If you go for a walk to the top of that last corner, it looks like we’re going through someone’s garage. There’s concrete there, it’s not tarmac. Then all of a sudden there’s tarmac and there’s a big seam there. It doesn’t feel like it’s a grand prix circuit at all.”
Defending his local track, Nicky Hayden offers some balance to the argument made by his teammate at the time. “Is that why he (Stoner) was going so slow today?” quipped Hayden to the assembled press. “I mean 70% of our tracks…we could re-surface them all. If they want to re-surface it great, but I didn’t think it was that bad.” Hayden did concede though that perhaps his flat-tracking background makes the rough and tumble circuit more suitable to his riding style.
With rumors of the Austin GP looming at the time (and now confirmed), the officials at Indy have conceded to Stoner’s point, and began undertaking plans to resurface the track earlier this year. With the Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP race set to go off on August 26th-28th, the new infield will be done with plenty of time for the second American stop on the MotoGP tour. Hopefully this will lay to rest any criticisms of the historic American venue, and riders can get down to some serious racing (and some track records we suspect).
Source: Indianapolis Motor Speedway