Despite the criticisms from GP riders, the Indianapolis GP has been renewed on the MotoGP calendar through the 2014 season. With Dorna keen on having a larger US presence, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway wanting to continue to host the premier classes of motorcycle racing, the biggest issue for the contract’s renewal (besides tarmac conditions), was the scheduling involved with IMS, Laguna Seca, and MotoGP.
Wanting to have the two US GP rounds back-to-back, Dorna faced two circuits with very inflexible summer schedules. Able to now schedule the Indianapolis GP for August 17th-19th in 2012, the Indy GP has effectively been moved a week earlier in the year, and will likely follow the Laguna Seca GP in 2012, with Brno to follow afterwards.
This means that teams, riders, journalists, and the rest of the traveling GP circus will have a greatly reduced logistical load for the US rounds, which in the past saw them traveling from Europe to California, then back to the EU for the Czech GP, only to return again to Indianapolis. The added benefit of having a longer stop-over in the United States means that MotoGP riders will be more available to fans and North American sponsors, hopefully meaning more exposure for the sport in the United States.
This news also means that in 2013 and 2014 that the United States will play host to three MotoGP rounds (Laguna Seca’s current contract goes through the 2014 season as well), as the Circuit of the Americas track in Austin, Texas will be online. With Austin set to host Formula 1 next year, MotoGP will finally race in the United States on a track purpose-built for GP-style racing.
This will be a sharp contrast to both Laguna Seca and IMS, two historical and unique tracks in their own right, but exceedingly different from the rest of the venues on the MotoGP calendar (and perhaps the cause of some of the negative reviews from GP riders).
With Dorna hoping to pump up two-wheeeled racing in the USA, this news however can surely only be music to the ears for American MotoGP fans. How will things play out in 2014 though? Only time will tell.
Source: Indianapolis Motor Speedway; Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved