MotoGP to INDY

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SPEEDTV’s Robin Miller is reporting on the website that the MotoCG motorcycle racing series will race next fall at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. MotoGP officials were seen at dinner with Joie Chitwood, the chief operating officer of the Speedway, earlier this week.
The Speedway’s vice president of communications, Fred Nation, confirmed the Miller report – almost. “We are working very hard to have a MotoGP event here sometime in 2008 as a kickoff to our centennial era. Remember, our first motorsports event at the Speedway in 1909 was a motorcycle race.”
MotoGP is an international motorcycle racing series, currently competing in 18 different world-wide locations. Its only current race in the United States is held at the Laguna Seca track in California. That race is scheduled for July 22nd. MotoGP bikes are currently restricted to a displacement of no more than 800 ccs. Weight limits depend on the number of cylinders.
MotoGP bikes are extremely fast, though the current speed record for the series – 215.864 mph - was set under different regulations than those currently in force. Nonetheless, if the race follows the same course as the Formula One cars, it will mean that the bikes will use about two-thirds the distance of the front straight at Indianapolis as part of the circuit. That could allow exceptionally fast speeds to be reached.
Should Miller’s report prove accurate, this will be the fourth annual event to run at IMS. The others are, of course, the Indianapolis 500, the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard Nextel Cup race, and the United States Grand Prix Formula One race. Presumably the MotoGP even will employ the infield race track built for the Grand Prix event, but – like the Formula One race – will use part of the legendary IMS oval as part of the road course.

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