MotoGP Vs. IndyCar at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
The MotoGP vs. Formula 1 battle will always top the headlines, but how about a MotoGP vs. IndyCar duel? This is just what MotoGP fans were treated with Thursday at the famed “Brickyard” following the traditional press conference for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.
With 2006 MotoGP Champion Nicky Hayden regulating as official Marshall, Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa took on Marco Andretti in a one-lap race around the 16-turn, 2.591-mile circuit. So who would win? The 700 horsepower, 1576 lbs., turbocharged 2.2 liter V6 IndyCar driven by Andretti, or the 240 horsepower, 348-lbs., 1000cc V4 Repsol Honda RC213V piloted by Pedrosa.
Both have experience at Indianapolis; Pedrosa has two victories under his leathers, and Marco, who is the third generation of the famed Andretti family (son of Michael and grandson of Mario), has three podium finishes at IMS. Andretti is currently seventh in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Of course it was only an exhibition, but the battle was on. After exiting the final corner, both dragged to the finish line. It looked as if Pedrosa would take the win, but Hayden declared it a draw: “It was a close race. It looked like Dani was going to sneak the win, but it was a tie,” the Kentucky Kid said. “It was a good show. Obviously IndyCar here in Indianapolis is a really big deal, plus the car sounded nice, I enjoyed listening to it!”
Pedrosa also commented on the one-lap MotoGP vs. IndyCar duel: “It was super fun. I enjoyed it very much. It’s always special to do something like this. And actually, I was hearing when we were riding his engine more than mine. But it was very nice when we were together in the straight line and with full speed.
“It’s really cool to do an event like this. It’s always a different emotion. I wish one day to try one of these cars, I can see it’s very powerful. He is also was wiling to try the MotoGP bike, so maybe one day we can change.”
Andretti, who also rides motorcycles on the street, said: “Yes, that was fun! You can see that the car has more grip on the corners because of the aerodynamics, but in the straight… the mid range of the bike is unbelievable.”
“I have a Honda Repsol, the street version of the Repsol CBR, but I’m nowhere near as fast as these guys.”
MotoGP says this is the first time in history that a MotoGP prototype lined up next to an IndyCar, and it seemed a fitting celebration of the history of this iconic circuit as its celebrates hosting its eighth consecutive MotoGP World Championship GP. Constructed back in 1909 it is affectionately known as the “Brickyard” as its original track surface was entirely made of bricks. Even today, the circuit still incorporates some of the original bricks in a small section by the start/finish line. It is also the highest capacity sporting venue in the world, with permanent seating for over 300,000 fans, and also plays host to the legendary Indianapolis 500 race on its oval circuit.
For a preview of the round, visit 2015 Indy MotoGP Preview | Rossi Holds Slim Lead.
Photos by Ara Ashjian