(Above) A view from inside Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Center) Inside the Yamaha Marketplace race fans can get their picture taken aboard Jorge Lorenzo’s Yamaha M1 racebike. (Below) All the big brands offer displays allowing motorcyclists to check out all the latest and greatest motorcycles and atvs.
Grand Prix road racing returned to the American midwest Friday and fans came out in full force to get a glimpse of what the world’s premier motorcycle racing series is all about. In the MotoGP class Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner ended the day the fastest and Simone Corsi was P1 in the Moto 2 class. Make sure to check out the Indianapolis MotoGP Practice Results 2011 and Indianapolis Moto2 Practice Results 2011 for all the juicy details.
One of the coolest things about Indianapolis Motor Speedway is its location. Situated smack dab in the middle of the city the venue has a very “European” feel to it. Indianapolis is also a very motorcycle friendly and it’s quite easy to get into and out of the track.
Considering the immense size of the IMS facility it can be a bit tough to find your way around. But if you’re not afraid of walking then there are a few sections of the circuit that offer excellent vantage. The track workers are also polite and helpful if you need assistance getting around. Food vendors and ATMs are everywhere serving up an assortment of food and ice cold drinks. And cold beverages are going to be an important commodity this weekend as temperatures were in the high-80s with stifling humidity.
Many popular motorcycle brands have a presence inside the infield area. Both Honda and Yamaha have gigantic displays offering enthusiasts a up close look at all of its 2011 motorcycles, scooters and ATVs. Yamaha had one of the more savy set-ups complete with Yamaha generator-powered mobile charging stations for your cell phone or other electronics. They also had Jorge Lorenzo’s YZR-M1 MotoGP bike on display and all were welcome to get their picture taken with a full color print-out available just seconds afterward.
Another popular spot was Ducati Island. Every year it seems that Ducati’s area gets bigger and bigger and now German car maker Mercedes is now apart of their display after the two companies partnered up for ’11. Inside Ducati island fans can enjoy a snack, relax in the shade, or take a look at the entire model line-up. Although other brands like KTM did’t have as fancy set-ups it still offered demo rides on some of its ’11 machinery.
Shopping for motorcycle gear and accessories also proved to be a popular thing to do. While we still like to do a majority of our purchasing on the internet at companies like Motorcycle-Superstore.com sometimes you just want to see and try on something the good old fashioned way before you buy it. Companies understand this and Alpinestars, amongst other brands offered its entire line of products. Even the riders are getting a piece of the action now with Valentino Rossi and the Hayden clan having his own store front.
(Above) James Toseland and his band Crash put on a show Friday evening at the track. (Below) Motorcycles on Meridian is basically a gigantic street party.
After racing was over the infield was transformed into a rock show with former MotoGP rider and current BMW World Superbike rider James Toseland rocking out with his band Crash. And I have to say Toseland has some serious musical talent. Afterwards Guns and Roses cover band Appetite for Destruction jammed out until the sun went down. For one hour between 7 and 8 pm, the Speedway allowed motorcyclists to make a lap around its 2.621 mile, 16-turn road course for free as long as you had your ticket stub from Friday.
If you didn’t get your fill of sportbikes at the track, the final round of the XDL stunt/freestyle competition is taking place downtown adjacent to the Indianapolis War Memorial. Endurocross also took place at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
As the sunset downtown Indianapolis came alive with the annual Motorcycles on Merdian event. South Meridian Street between Monument Circle and South Street becomes motorcycle traffic only thus creating a gigantic Daytona Beach-style street party. Bars and restaurants line the street and provide entertainment until the wee hours of the night. Make sure to visit our constantly expanding 2011 MotoGP Indianapolis and 2011 Red Bull Indianapolis GP photo galleries to see all the action on and off the track.