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Heed 505

Will Indianapolis Continue to Host GPs?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Over 160,000 fans came out to the races this weekend with in excess of 60,000 folks visiting The Brickyard on Sunday. Visually turn-out appeared to be much better than in past years and even with that many people it was still quite easy to get in/out/around the track. Kudos to the IMS folks for having the logistics so dialed-in.
 
In my opinion the Indianapolis round is the better of the two U.S. Grand Prixs. Not only is it easier to get around the track the location of it is smack dab in the middle of the city. The downtown area is literally only a 15 minute motorcycle ride away and there are tons of fancy yet fairly reasonably priced hotels, restaurants and bars that have the ability to keep you entertained well into the night.
 
One of my favorite things to do at night is to cruise around the street during the Motorcycle on Meridian event. Friday and Saturday night the city shuts down part of Meridian Street to motorcycle and foot traffic only. And you wouldn’t believe how many bikes/people come out. Normally, you’d think that an event like that would be total chaos and while there is a very high-level of police, they are actually very friendly and don’t try and harass folks for silly things.
 
No word on whether or not the Red Bull Indianapolis GP will be returning to Indianapolis next year, but if it were up to me it would as they have an utterly fantastic event. Let’s hope folks that haven’t yet experienced GP races at The Brickyard will have the opportunity to next year and beyond.

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Comments
HarleyHelm September 13, 2011 01:33 PM
As a native hoosier, it has been great to have MotoGP here in Indy. The crowd seems to be growing, the vendors are awesome, and, with people from all over the country and world, I'm sure the energy will continue to build over the years. With the huge size of the speedway, there's lots of room to grow.
citizenx September 5, 2011 10:30 AM
I'm pleased with the race there. I live in Alabama now but am from Indy, travel to the GP every year they have had it there, and hope to never miss one. It serves as a chance to see family and a nice escape from the grind of day to day work schedules. I had the great oportunity to meet Ben Spies, Loris Capriossi (spelling?), Nicky Hayden, and Simoncelli this year. Motorcyles on Meridian gives bikers, motorcyclist, and enthusiasts a chance to meet and share experiences. Truly the event as a whole is something to attend.
nieseba September 4, 2011 01:35 PM
Indianapolis and Dorna just reached an agreement to keep the race from 2012 to 2014! I'm surprised but happy.
x2468 September 1, 2011 01:17 PM
i wonder how many fans, if any, the new track in Austin will take away from Indie (and laguna for that matter). Im sure that will factor into their thinking. Hopefully, they don't over-estimate it. Would the new-ish track in Jersey be capable of hosting MotoGP? I've never seen it before.
motousa_adam August 31, 2011 10:53 PM
@ devil machine: wow-- you make some good points. the name of the hotel was downtown university park hotel via hotwire.com... as long as its dry there is some good grassy knows to watch the races from here >>> where i took this picture >> http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/791/10897/Motorcycle-Article/Indianapolis-MotoGP-Behind-the-Fence-Friday.aspx
Devil Machine August 31, 2011 07:43 PM
Well, if you can come up with the name of the joint, maybe we'll stay there sometime assuming you paid average-Joe-non-VIP-journalist prices. I'll admit that I'm not as internet savvy as some, but I was good enough to find your website years ago. And for the Chicago motorcycle show in 2008, my girlfriend was good enough to find us a nice room at a Ramada Inn in Chicago with a jaccuzi in the room for less than $100 a night. That's about the only way we pay $100 a night to stay anywhere. In 2008, the parking was really a surprise because we had never been there. I'm glad we took my car. We had considered riding our bikes there, but several aspects of the weekend kept us from doing that. She rides a 96 CBR600 and I ride a 99 750 Monster. Although I've gone camping on my Monster when it was new, carrying a tent and camping gear for two people wasn't really feasible since neither of us ride BMWs or Goldwings. The projected weather outlook was terrible, and we would have ended up wet and miserable for the entire weekend. Finally, with gas at $4.50 a gallon like it was, it made more sense to drive one car, which we could carry plenty of stuff in, and got 30+ mpg- instead of riding two bikes that got 40 mpg each (giving an overall 20 mpg for the pair) which we could only carry limited supplies on. The racetrack facilities are really poor if you don't buy super-VIP box seats. Unfortunately for my girlfriend, half of the ladies' rooms were closed. I doubt if they were closed for cleaning or remodeling given the sad conditions I saw in the mens' rooms. Thankfully they did have a decent restroom in the museum. In fact, probably the best part of the whole weekend was being able to sit under the tent in the Ducati area and drink free water and coffee instead of paying outrageous concession stand prices. Obviously, they can't do anything about the weather and we didn't want to see any riders get hurt because of it. But when they didn't even run the 250s and only ran 14 laps on the 800s that Sunday, it really soured the experience, which was already less than stellar. In 2008, we just left feeling ripped off. Overall, it wasn't what we expected from what is supposed to be the most prestigious racetrack in the country.
motousa_adam August 31, 2011 11:05 AM
i paid $100/ night to stay at rich-man four-star downtown university park hotel via hotwire. if you have savy internet skills you will def. find premium and inexpensive lodging. true, parking is a rip-off that's why you should always try to ride into events then it is free and easy. overall i like the event as it offers decent racing, good partying and it's simple, fast and easy to arrive at where you need to and that is a big plus for me. long live indy gp@!
Devil Machine August 31, 2011 10:02 AM
So I'm just wondering what your idea of a "reasonably priced hotel" is. In 2008, my girlfriend and I went to the race and she checked into getting a hotel room months in advance. The cheapest hotel she could find was $200 a night and 60 MILES AWAY. She only lives 100 miles from Indianapolis, for $200 a night and 60 miles away, it would have been cheaper to drive back and forth to her house. F that. We ended up camping at a nice campground on the southwest end of town for $10 a night.

And also, as far as a venue goes, for a $40 weekend event parking pass which I and a lot of other people paid for, I think they could pave that field that they call a parking lot. And, they seem to have problems with grandstands in Indianapolis. In addition to the recent collapse of the grandstands they had there a few weeks ago, in 2008, a gigantic piece of aluminum from the top level of the bleachers blew off and came crashing down about 10 feet from where my girlfriend and I were sitting. Luckily, nobody was hurt because it came down in a relatively unpopulated spot, but seriously, people could have been hurt badly.

For some reason, the whole town smells like a johnny on the spot. I'm not joking. As soon as you get close to town, it's noticable.

We went again in 2009. The weather was better. But in reality, despite it's reputation as the racing capitol of the world, the place sucks on so many levels that we didn't go back after that.
motousa_adam August 31, 2011 08:54 AM
agreed- if ims would have held multiple open trackdays prior to the motogp race weekend there would have been a lot more rubber on track and the track conditions would have been much better-- they need to start considering that stuff and thinking out side of the box. there facility is cool but not quite as cool as they think it is.
nieseba August 31, 2011 05:43 AM
My only complaint with Indy is that they won't host trackdays. Now that I'm addicted to sportbikes and have started doing trackdays I seriously want to ride that track sooooooo badly! They only host three race events a year and track goes un-used for most of the season. I just wish they would open it up to more events.
nieseba August 31, 2011 05:32 AM
The first Indianapolis GP in 2008 is what got me hooked on sportbikes. It was miserable weather, but watching the best riders in the World battling in wind and rain was simply amazing. Indianapolis as a city knows how to host a race event. The track itself can be a source of controversy, whether due to the bumps of previous years or the new pavement this year. The way that the city hosts the event, though, is superb. I hope that they keep the race but I don't see MotoGP having three races in the US. Even Italy only has two races. The only way I think it works is if Austin, TX replaces the poorly attended season opener in Qatar since it's one of the few tracks with nice enough weather that early in the season.