Indianapolis MotoGP Round Officially Announced

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway finally got round to officially announcing that the IMS will host the second round of MotoGP to be held in the US on September 14th, 2008. To be known officially as the Red Bull Indianopolis GP, the round will be sponsored by Red Bull, just as the US GP at Laguna Seca is, and run on a revised, 2.6 mile, counter-clockwise version of the F1 infield track, featuring 6 right and 10 left turns.

The biggest concerns at the track were over safety, especially about the walls around the outside of the speedway oval, which may work for cars, but are absolutely lethal for motorcycle racers. The new track layout seems to address that issue, with the track cutting into a new infield for Turn 1 at the end of the straight, before hitting the oval, and returning onto the oval at an angle, for the most part. The only point of concern from an initial evaluation is the final turn back onto the main straight. Turn 16 is a right-angle left hander, taking the riders onto the oval and down what could turn out to be the fastest straight of the season. Having Turn 16 come onto the track at a right angle, at a point where riders will be trying desperate last-lap passing maneuvers, could lead to riders crashing at a place with no gravel trap, although the asphalt is very wide at that point. However, the track has already passed the official FIM safety inspection, so we can only assume that the FIM is aware of this issue.

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