American MotoGP fans have likely already surmised from the 2016 MotoGP Championship provisional calendar that the premier motorcycle racing series will not return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway next year, thus leaving Austin as the sole American round on the GP schedule.
The move comes about primarily because Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) did not want to pay Dorna’s sanctioning fee, which had increased for the 2016 season. Though IMS plays host to many of the world’s premier racing events, MotoGP will no longer be one of them.
Where once the United States played host to three MotoGP rounds, now the American market will only have one race, held at the beginning of the calendar at The Circuit of the Americas.
Though Indy often looked empty to fans and on TV, the round was one of the larger ones on the MotoGP calendar, with roughly 145,000 fans in attendance over the three-day race weekend.
No one could question the history of IMS, nor the enthusiasm that Indianapolis has for racing, but unfortunately the track’s infield course never seemed suited to grand prix motorcycles, even after a series of layout and tarmac changes. Regardless, it will be missed by American fans, including us here at Asphalt & Rubber.
“This outcome reflects the best interests of both the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Dorna Sports,” said J. Douglas Boles, President of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“We are proud of our efforts to increase attendance in recent years and successfully host a truly international sporting and cultural event. We’re also thankful to Dorna Sports for its strong support and partnership since 2008. However, the timing is right to pursue other opportunities that drive greater revenue for both the Speedway and our Central Indiana economy.”
“Bringing MotoGP to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been a tremendously rewarding experience,” said Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta. “The historic track, professional staff and welcoming host community produced an annual event that was enjoyed by all. While both sides recognize it’s the right time to pause this relationship, the door is not closed on future collaborations together should current circumstances change.”
Source: Indianapolis Motor Speedway; Photo: © 2015 Daniel Lo / Corner Speed Photo – All Rights Reserved