Although prevailing opinion prior to this weekend was that this would be the last year of Indianapolis hosting a MotoGP event, Indianapolis Motor Speedway put those rumors to rest by announcing during the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix weekend that it was exercising the last year option of its current contract with Dorna to host a MotoGP race in 2014. The exact date in August next year has yet to be determined, but it shows that the circuit and the local government are committed to continuing the race event for the foreseeable future.
Earlier this year, Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta stated that three races in the U.S. was too many, and with MotoGP trying to expand into other regions such as South America and Southeast Asia, some existing races would need to be cut to make room. Austin’s Circuit of the Americas has a five-year contract for MotoGP, and Ezpeleta has always referred to the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California as an integral part of the calendar. With the sprawling IMS facility that can hold as many as 400,000 spectators making even a major motorcycle racing crowd of 70,000 look puny, and the riders continually complaining of the changing pavement on the road course as well as its configuration (the course is run opposite of its intended direction from the facility’s F1 days), many thought that IMS’s days of MotoGP were numbered.
But the facility is keen to continue hosting the race, and IMS management has stated that a complete repaving of the course—at a cost that would easily run in the seven-figure region—could be done if the costs could be amortized with an additional automobile race. Talks are continuing between Dorna and IMS to establish another long-term contract.
"We're very pleased that we can bring our fans another thrilling MotoGP World Championship race in 2014 at IMS," Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles said in a press release. "The last six years have established a solid foundation for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, and we are optimistic about the growth of the event in Indianapolis. We are also eager to continue working with our friends at Dorna to ensure an exciting, long-term future for MotoGP at The Racing Capital of the World."
"I'm extremely pleased that MotoGP will be returning to the iconic Indianapolis track in 2014 to bring the pinnacle of motorcycle racing to the American fans," Ezpeleta said. "The Brickyard not only attracts a great crowd every year, but its heritage and history in the world of motor racing also helps grow the popularity of MotoGP in the United States and around the world. I would like to thank the organization and staff at Indianapolis for their fantastic efforts to keep the race at their track, and I am already looking forward to returning next year."