Competitors ventured onto the 2.6 mile track in the rain early this morning in order to begin familiarizing themselves with the track in unfavorable conditions. The inaugural MotoGP event utilizing this layout will be new for everyone, creating a relatively even playing field.
Houston native Colin Edwards comments. “I think it balances the scales, to a point. We’re all going there not knowing what to expect. Usually the guys who learn the track the quickest tend to come out on top,” said Edwards.
Perhaps the biggest variable for this competition will be up to Mother Nature. An 80 percent chance of rain will likely play a huge role in the triumph or trouncing of teams who make the proper tire choices and riders who can keep their machines under control.
Repsol Honda rider Nicky Hayden, who is returning to competition after missing two races with a heel injury, recently discussed his opinions on the circuit. “Indy’s going to be a big challenge for everyone, but I quite enjoy going to new circuits. We will use the data the test teams got when they tested there in July to help line up the transmission and so on.” Combining a new circuit with unfavorable conditions should make for one interesting race.
All eyes will likely be on Valentino Rossi as a victory here could make him the winningest MotoGP/500cc rider in history. Rossi tied the record of fellow Italian racing legend Giacomo Agostini on August 31st at the Grand Prix of San Marino. The Red Bull Riders Cup and Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup classes, for 13 to 16 year-old riders will also be competing this weekend.
Long before competitors arrived at the track, the crowds of motorcyclists began to enter the city. The off-track action started last night with Broad Ripple Avenue being closed between College and Guilford. Around dusk performers on little trick bicycles were putting on a show, not so much riding the bikes as much as they were break-dancing with them. A team of motorcross stunt riders then assembled for a Red Bull motocross exhibition that hyped up an already rowdy and moderately intoxicated crowd of spectators.
This evening will feature some more practice time at the Speedway and the exhibition riding competition from the War Memorial on North Meridian Street. Judging by the crowds collecting and motorcycles filling the streets, people are getting excited for a MototGP on American soil.
Three-day tickets can be purchased either online at http://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/ at any time; on the phone by calling (800) 822-INDY.