MotoGP rolls into Indianapolis (photos)

The second ever staging of the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix takes place this weekend and with the famous U.S. venue celebrating its 100th anniversary this year MotoGP fans are in for some great entertainment at round twelve of the FIM World Championship.

As the riders arrived at ‘The Brickyard’ on Thursday, Italian star Valentino Rossi, Americans Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards and Spaniards Dani Pedrosa and Toni Elías all appeared in the traditional pre-GP press conference, in a packed out Indianapolis media centre.

Rossi, last year’s winner of the first ever hurricane-affected Indy MotoGP race, previewed the action, stating, "It is very good to be back here, especially with some better weather and of course this place is full of history. I was on the track having another look today and it is a good circuit. We have some important data from last year, when we were fast in the dry and the wet so we are ready to start our hard work on Friday."

The atmosphere was already building earlier on Thursday afternoon as former Grand Prix rider Randy Mamola and NHRA (National Hot Road Association) star Antron Brown enjoyed a MotoX2 demonstration ride in Indianapolis city centre.

Proud American Mamola commented, "It is fantastic for the World Championship to come to the United States twice in the season. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has to be the most famous circuit in the world and they are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year, so it’s a very special event."

Meanwhile, drag racing hero Brown enthused, "The United States is all about technology and MotoGP is all about technology so we love having the sport here. It was just a blast to be on that bike with Randy!"

In tandem with the street event several Red Bull sponsored riders including Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso, Chris Vermeulen and Mika Kallio attended a city centre press conference, where they each stated their excitement about riding at the famous Indianapolis track.

It was also announced on Thursday that Loris Capirossi will stay with Rizla Suzuki to ride alongside newcomer Álvaro Bautista in MotoGP in 2010. Incredibly it will be Capirossi’s 21st season in the World Championship and his 13th in the premier class.

Friday’s action at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix commences at 12.40pm local time with the 125cc riders undertaking their first free practice session, with the MotoGP field on track at 1.55pm and the 250cc class appearing at 3.10pm.

For U.S. television viewers, the MotoGP race will be broadcast live on FOX on Sunday at 3pm (Eastern time), while the 250cc race will be broadcast on same-day delay at 6pm. To catch up with the 125cc race, check out FOX on Tuesday September 8th at 12pm.