Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Axe hovering over Indianapolis Grand Prix?

This year's MotoGP Indianapolis Grand Prix could be the last held around the famed 'Brickyard' as uncertainty over whether a new deal will be struck for the 2012 season continues to rumble on.

Indianapolis welcomed MotoGP for the first time in 2008, but the layout, which incorporates some of the reputed oval that leads into a twisty infield, received a lukewarm reaction from riders, while spectator numbers have also declined during that time.

Though the United States remains a significant market for the motorcycle industry, seemingly firming Indianapolis's position on the MotoGP calendar as the second American race alongside Laguna Seca, the multi-year deal to take the series to the new Circuit of the Americas in Texas in 2013 has raised doubts over whether a contract extension is forthcoming.

Indeed, no deal is currently in place for 2012, with IMS president Jeff Belskus telling Reuters that while he hopes MotoGP returns next year, he is prepared for the eventuality that it won't.

“We're still talking about what the future holds. I hope it (MotoGP) is back and I hope we can come to terms. We would be disappointed to lose it but I think both sides will move on if that's what it comes to."

Though Indianapolis remains a famed venue for the Indianapolis Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 NASCAR race, it has struggled to capture the fans' imagination with its international events, most notably Formula 1, which pulled out of the US in 2007 after eight races.

Indeed, though the likes of Ben Spies, Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards enjoy fairly high profiles in the United States, Dorna is undecided as to whether the calendar would benefit from having three races there, though it is not ruling it out.

"It's possible to have three races in the United States," Dorna's Javier Alonso added. "We had only one race in Spain 20 years ago. It is important for us to be successful in America."

Laguna Seca will host MotoGP for another two seasons at least, while the Circuit of the Americas – which is currently under construction – has a ten-year deal from 2013.

source: crash

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