Brickyard hosts spectacular showdown between a MotoGP bike and an IndyCar
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway played host to an exhibition race between an IndyCar and a MotoGP bike to celebrate the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix which takes place at the IMS this weekend.
Local hero and former MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden was appointed as the official ‘Marshall’ for the exhibition race and was on hand to wave the checkered flag to kicks things off.
MotoGP fans were treated to an incredible spectacle of sight and sound as a flame-spitting 700bhp, 715kg, turbocharged 2.2 litre V6 IndyCar driven by Marco Andretti completed a lap of the 4.2km Indianapolis Motor Speedway alongside Dani Pedrosa’s 240bhp, 158kg, 1000cc V4 Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP bike.
Marco is the third generation of the famous Andretti racing family, the son of Michael and grandson of Mario, and currently lies 7th in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings while Pedrosa is one of the most successful MotoGP riders at Indianapolis, having won at the circuit twice before.
While it was purely an exhibition, racers are racers, and Andretti and Pedrosa could not resist a little drag race as they exited the last corner onto the straight, much to the delight of the spectators. As they crossed the line there was nothing to separate the two, with Hayden officially declaring it too close to call. “It was a close race. It looked like Dani was going to sneak the win, but it was a tie.”
The ‘Kentucky Kid’ clearly had fun, ahead of heading out on track himself this weekend on his Aspar MotoGP Team Open class Honda: “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 seemed to enjoy himself: “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 has three Indy 500 podiums to his name, was clearly impressed by the two wheeled machine: “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.”
The American, who rides a bike himself, won’t be swapping IndyCar for MotoGP just yet though: “I have a Honda Repsol, the street version of the Repsol CBR, but I’m nowhere near as fast as these guys.”
It was the first time in history that these two machines had lined up on track together 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.
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