2011 US MotoGP
Following last year’s Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP event, much criticism surfaced from the riders regarding bumps in the track’s layout.
One rider that immediately spoke out was then-Ducati Team rider Casey Stoner. The Australian reported that Indy was not a “world class circuit,” and was “too bumpy” after suffering many setbacks last August during the 2010 MotoGP Championship (Stoner would DNF after crashing at Turn 11).
In response such concerns, officials at Indianapolis Motor Speedway said that 70-percent of the track would be repaved before the 2011 MotoGP event. And on Thursday, IMS officials said repaving will begin on the infield section June 9, which is 1.5 miles of the circuit from Turn 5 through Turn 16.
This repaving will reportedly be complete before the MotoGP grid arrives at the track for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Aug. 26-28.
IMS says Indy’s Turn 5 is where the course leaves the short chute between Turns 1 and 2 of the oval; Turn 16 is where the circuit leaves the infield near the start of the front straightaway at the exit of Turn 4 of the oval.
This will be the first time the infield section of the Indy track received any resurfacing since it was built in 2000; turns 1 through 4 of the 2.621-mile circuit – located inside Turn 1 of the oval – were created in 2008 for the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP and will not be repaved during this project, IMS says.
Mel Harder (IMS Senior Vice President, Operations) says: “This project is an example of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway providing competitors the finest racing facilities in the world.
“We had a very long, hard winter this year, which exacerbated the bumps and cracks in this aging section of the track.
“We also decided to undertake this project this year due to feedback from riders during the Red Bull Indianapolis GP last year. The new surface will produce even closer, more exciting racing for the world’s best riders and our loyal fans this August.”
Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden finished sixth last year after a very unusual circumstance. The 29-year old lost his left knee slider after it got caught on a drain cover and ripped off on the third lap.
This destroyed confidence in left turns, as the future teammate of Valentino Rossi had to rely on just a piece of leather between his knee and the pavement when leaned over, causing for a very unsmooth slide that wore a hole in his leathers.
Hayden offered some enthusiasm on the repaving of Indy in time for 2011 MotoGP.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati MotoGP Team) says: “I’m happy to hear the infield section is being repaved at Indy. It’s already a great track, and I’m sure this will make a smoother, more consistent racetrack for everybody.
“It also shows how the people at IMS pay attention to every detail – that’s probably why they’ve been around over a hundred years. I’ve always loved it there, as it’s my home track. I can’t wait to get back to Indy and race in August.”
MotoGP Photos from 2010 Red Bull Indy GP