motoGP - another US Race? - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 29 Old 12-21-2006, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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motoGP - another US Race?

http://www.cyclenews.com/ShowStory.asp?HeadlineID=10286

Indianapolis Motor Speedway will likely host a round of the MotoGP World Championship in 2008, according to a number of sources, but it won’t replace the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Instead, for the first time ever, the U.S. will host two rounds of the championship.
The news was first reported by Motor Sport Aktuell, an authoritative Swiss weekly. MSA said that the race would replace the Chinese GP at Shanghai, an event that hasn’t had the success that Dorna had hoped for in the world’s most populous nation.
Though nothing has been signed, all indications are that an event at Indianapolis is moving forward. Ron Green, a spokesman for Indianapolis Motor Speedway, said that “There is no agreement in place,” but, he added, “The Speedway is still active in its dialogue with several motorcycle racing sanctioning bodies. It is clear that the Speedway wants an event. And it’s something that we’ve been exploring for quite some time.”
Green referenced an AMA test in 2003.
“That was probably the first real feasibility or exploratory effort we undertook. So very serious about the possibility of having a major motorcycle race here in the near future.”
The near future could be 2008. Green said the Speedway was looking at a motorcycle race as one way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the track in 2009. (The first ever event at IMS was a motorcycle race in 1909.)
“We automatically received an incredible amount of enthusiasm and feedback from the motorcycle industry, which made us maybe think there’s something more here than just a single anniversary event. Because of that enthusiasm and talking with various sanctioning bodies, it’s certainly something we’re exploring diligently and it could move forward and it could happen as early as 2008.”
Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosts the Indianapolis 500, the largest motorsports event in the world, as well as the Brickyard 400, and a round of the Formula One World Championship.
“We know what it takes to present an event of that magnitude. And we sense that the potential for this motorcycle event is going to be of significant magnitude as well.
“We know how long it takes to plan one of those events,” he continued. “We probably have almost an 18-month promotional calendar to present an event appropriately. And if we’re going to do it in 2008 we know we need make some decisions very soon and make an announcement in the spring of 2007.”
The problem with the IMS Formula One layout is the right-hand final corner onto the front straight. With the track running clockwise, the F-1 cars face a wall on their left as they speed toward the finish line. Since this is unacceptable for motorcycles, FIM safety boss Claude Danis was tasked to find a solution.
“Actually the last corner will not be used since we will run anticlockwise and the track will turn left immediately after the pits,” Danis said in an e-mail message. Danis has not yet homologated the track, he said, with the final drawings to be approved and works to be carried out by end of 2007. He also said he may be joined by F-1 safety boss Charlie Whiting for a site visit in early February.
“That is, from what I understand, one of the solutions being discussed,” the Speedway’s Ron Green said. “And even if that counterclockwise is a solution, there will still have to be some modifications made, from what I understand. That’s been an area of discussion and certainly an area of focus.”
Gavin Emmett, the Dorna press officer, acknowledged that the series organizers were interested in expanding their presence in America.
“I know they’re looking at a lot of other options to develop the sport,” he said. “Obviously to have a second race would be a good thing.” He continued. “I know that in the past they’ve talked, but I also know that they’ve talked since then. I know they went to look. They have looked at the possibility. I also know the American market is interesting to them at the moment, especially with Nicky [Hayden] as World Champion.”
“No deal has been done,” race director Paul Butler said in a cell phone conversation from Majorca. “[FIM safety boss] Claude Danis went there and inspected it en route to Laguna three or four weeks ago. So there’s been contact. And there are examinations ongoing.”
Gill Campbell, the CEO of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, said in a cell phone call that it won’t affect the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix.
“To my knowledge it’s not confirmed by any means,” she said. “When we originally had our agreement we had a three-year exclusivity [which meant no other track in the U.S. could hold a MotoGP event]
“Again, I don’t know very much other than I know they’ve been talking. That’s truly it. Beyond that, knowing that I have an exclusivity through 2007, I know that it wouldn’t be any earlier than 2008.”
Dorna’s Emmett added, “They’re not looking at replacing Laguna in the future.”
IMS President Joie Chitwood attended July’s Red Bull U.S. GP for the second year in a row. At the time, the Indianapolis Star wrote that he “came away feeling more optimistic than ever that he understands the sport's landscape well enough to host an event." The Star quoted him as saying, “I think I've got my arms around [MotoGP] now. I definitely think it makes sense to continue moving forward with this."
Spokesman Ron Green said “likewise [Chitwood] came away from his trip to Imola for the World Superbike event there equally as excited and I think what he references, is he’s excited about a premier motorcycle event. After both of those events discussions continued with both of those groups and the AMA.”
The likelihood of the Speedway hosting a stand-alone round of the AMA Superbike Championship is slim, given the magnitude of their other events. But it’s possible the AMA would provide support races for a MotoGP race.
“We would want a full menu of on-track activity for that weekend,” Green said. “Again, the Speedway, our reputation, in fact our mission statement is providing leadership and excellence in motorsports entertainment, and we would want an active track that weekend.”
With MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden a native of nearby Owensboro, Kentucky, the location would play well to his Midwest fan base.
“You don’t have to be a huge motorcycle fan to know about Nicky Hayden,” Green said. “The fact that he’s from Owensboro, almost a sister city to Evansville, Indiana, hasn’t gone unnoticed. And he is, if not the star, one of the premier stars of the sport.”
Television is another tool that Dorna plans to use to increase exposure in the U.S. Last year ABC broadcast a highlight version of the Red Bull U.S. GP a week later. The ratings were considerably higher than for the original Speed telecast.
“The idea was to get it to a mainstream sports public,” Emmett said, adding that having more telecasts on broadcast television is one of the options Dorna is considering for 2007.

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post #2 of 29 Old 12-21-2006, 03:35 PM
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I sure hope they don't rely on the IMS safety crews. Every year I watch F1 at that track I am disappointed by the reaction times and effectiveness of their crews when there is inevitably a wreck (or seven) at turn 1. As nice as it would be to be able to go to a MotoGP race at Indy, I would rather see it at RA or not at all. The infield course at Indy is garbage. People can go on and on all they like about the history of the place and all that slop, but when it comes right down to it, it's still just another oval course with a crappy infield course. There are dozens of tracks in the US which would make a more entertaining layout for GP bike racing.

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post #3 of 29 Old 12-21-2006, 03:46 PM
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Who or where else in the USA COULD host the GP? Which track could be made to conform? What track can handle nearly 100k spectators? Is there one?

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post #4 of 29 Old 12-21-2006, 03:56 PM
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Miller Motorsports Park is/was working that direction. Birmingham was supposedly developed with MotoGP in mind, but was quickly deemed too small without the necessary means for a GP bike to get up to speed.

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post #5 of 29 Old 12-21-2006, 04:50 PM
 
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+1 on IMS being a crappy track for MotoGP, I much rather Barber than IMS and Barber is a track for go-karts or SuperMotards not MotoGP... hell, SBK bikes can barely move there (shame really!).

I would say Road America with a little work could very well be a MotoGP track, layout is awesome, long ass track. Make some Nice hotels around it, Bring some cool Jumbotrons to the right places and people will flock that race weekend... if it weren't for the natives and all that cheese, I would go watch

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post #6 of 29 Old 12-21-2006, 04:55 PM
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I'd love to see it come to Road America. With the longest straight around and one of the longest tracks, it would be a screamer. Their seating is horrible, though. Crap.

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post #7 of 29 Old 12-21-2006, 07:08 PM
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The seating is horrible at RA... but a GREAT track. They have the room to make modifications for safety too...

Hotel space is NILL... but Milwaukee isnt too far of a drive to be honest. Could you imagine? RA? WOW, I could host the WT MotoGP pre-party, party, and post party.

Oh now I am just getting giddy.....

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post #8 of 29 Old 12-21-2006, 07:42 PM
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We should start a petition to try and get MotoGP to RA. It's actually a shorter drive to IMS for me, but I seriously do not like that track (in case you hadn't already guessed). I believe the cost of the improvements would be easily eclipsed by the revenue pulled in for such an event.

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post #9 of 29 Old 12-22-2006, 04:10 AM Thread Starter
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Daytona.

and you thought Rossi whining about safety at Laguna was bad.

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post #10 of 29 Old 12-22-2006, 04:21 AM
 
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Indy isn't the best, but it'll be great to have a 2nd race in the U.S.

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post #11 of 29 Old 12-22-2006, 10:36 AM
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Who could we write to start the RA charge?

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post #12 of 29 Old 12-22-2006, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midwest View Post
Who could we write to start the RA charge?
No clue. I would imagine you'd have to contact both the RA folks and the MotoGP folks to see if it would even make a difference what we think. I suppose if someone started by e-mailing the guy in charge of RA telling him that thousands of rabid fans would love a race at his track, that might get the ball rolling. RA has hosted international roadracing for years, so I wouldn't think this is too far out of the realm of possibility.

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post #13 of 29 Old 12-22-2006, 12:01 PM
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I wonder how much difference in track prep will be needed w/ the new 800cc machines. Wasn't safety one of the main concerns for changing to 800?

The new machines aren't that far off of the old times, so I guess that would be a moot argument huh?

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post #14 of 29 Old 12-22-2006, 12:13 PM
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Turn 1 at RA needs a bigger run off, I think. It's already quite large, but being that it has a straightaway that seems to be 5 miles long, it could be bad for someone that has a problem before being able to brake.

Let's petition for MotoGP there! I'll take in 15-20 people at my house. About a 2 hour drive.

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post #15 of 29 Old 12-22-2006, 03:14 PM
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I would love another race closer to the East Coast. Road America is a cool track and it is so large it could handle a large crowd.

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post #16 of 29 Old 12-22-2006, 06:15 PM
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Someone look up a contact and we'll start flooding them with emails....

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post #17 of 29 Old 12-22-2006, 08:52 PM
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I'm not sure who would receive this kind of contact, but here's the link with contact info.
http://www.roadamerica.com/2006/track_contact.htm

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post #18 of 29 Old 12-22-2006, 10:23 PM
 
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I'm in for Road America, my mom lives a few miles from the track.

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post #19 of 29 Old 12-27-2006, 08:16 AM
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Didn't the AMA test there (Indy) last year, and deem it unsafe?

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post #20 of 29 Old 12-27-2006, 08:24 AM
 
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I think it was in 2003 or 2004 the first time but maybe they went back last year... can't remember my self as I only watched like 3 AMA races last year (that is how much interest I had on it!!! )

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post #21 of 29 Old 12-27-2006, 08:52 AM
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Email sent to RA... we'll see what comes back.

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post #22 of 29 Old 12-27-2006, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
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I would love another race closer to the East Coast. Road America is a cool track and it is so large it could handle a large crowd.
cant that one track in FL handle the crowd, dont they run ALMS there?

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post #23 of 29 Old 12-27-2006, 11:14 AM
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Many can handle crowds... but they need to handle the bikes too.

Besides... Florda sucks...

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post #24 of 29 Old 12-27-2006, 04:05 PM
 
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I laugh (hard) when they were considering Miami-Homestead Motorspeedway complex for MotoGP... unless of course, they spend like a gazillion dollars making a track for it

In all seriousness, the track was ok for the AMA guys back in (whenever they raced here, it has been so long) but pits are shameful at best and the VIP suits on top of the pits suck at worst, other than that... they need to make a tunnel ala Motegi and expand the track!

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post #25 of 29 Old 12-28-2006, 10:06 AM
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Ummm.... wait to you read the response I got from the gal over at RA - Ill cut and paste later...

They are putting some bucks into some improvements and have been in talks with some "People" but obviously nothing yet. I think they are being looked at as a possible site. But its years away... in my opinion. If ever..

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post #26 of 29 Old 12-29-2006, 04:14 AM
 
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Daytona.

and you thought Rossi whining about safety at Laguna was bad.
Ees tereebuhl... like riding een a bathtub .

Not to mention they'd have to pit 4-5 times for tires.

Why is it that foreign series love Indy? The place sucks. The layout is crap and it is (sorry if you live there) located in a backwoods hole that doesn't accurately depict life in the states. Road Atlanta needs to fix T12 and T3/4 because they would instantly become the best track in America. They spent the money and took the time to build new pits and then left the wall in T12... duh? For T3, it'd take a 5 guy crew and an earth mover one day to fix it... what gives? VIR, Barber... I'm sure they could fashion some stands as well as a ton of general admission areas. As for Miller, I like the layout, but it looks horrible on TV. There's no background and it's tough to gain a frame of reference which makes it tough to watch. If they were to add some character to the place I'm sure it'd be worthy as well.

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post #27 of 29 Old 12-29-2006, 07:53 AM
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Here's what I got...

Yes, we have entertained the sanctioning bodies of Dorna and MotoGP
people
several times over the last 10 years about the possibility of hosting
the
event. We'd love to be the site of a MotoGP in the US. But
unfortunately
we're not the decision maker. Especially with our new tunnel under
construction and the Mitchell Bridge being removed with additional
run-off
planned - we'll be even faster and safer than we have been in the past.

Thanks for your interest ... and keep your fingers crossed that we stay
on
their radar.

Your friends at Road America.



I say we start sending emails soon... maybe get someone in IT to write a program to send them out every 10 secs... till June.... See if it peaks anyones interest.

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post #28 of 29 Old 12-29-2006, 09:33 AM
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Most spam-blockers grab anything that sends THAT many e-mails out, but if somebody writes an app that has a more metered approach, perhaps?

That's actually a better response than I expected, though. I really anticipated the typical professional style of brush off. Sort of a "sod off and leave us alone" in business lingo. It sounds to me like RA would be happy to host if MotoGP had any interest in putting them on the schedule.

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post #29 of 29 Old 12-29-2006, 10:47 AM
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I didnt send the email to just anyone over there... I knew I would get an actual response...

It sounds as if they would be tickled to host something... and with the changes they are making there... it almost seems like they are preparing to say, here we are, all safe and sound, with one of the few tracks where you can let those things run!

Can you imagine?!

I'm at least going to get a decent letter off to someone at Dorna, FIM, and even someone at MotoGP if I can find them.

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