Indianapolis Motor Speedway Modifies Course for MotoGP

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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