The Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), located in Speedway, Indiana was opened in 1909. It is the original speedway, the first racing facility so named. It’s home to the famous Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400, along with MotoGP™, and also hosted the United States Grand Prix for Formula One™ from 2000-2007, until Circuit of The Americas™ took its place.
After a 99-year absence, motorcycle racing returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2008, with the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix featuring the MotoGP World Championship, the premier level of motorcycle road racing on Earth.
According to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, “It was only fitting that a bike event would capture the imagination of IMS fans, as the very first motorized event at the Racing Capital of the World was a motorcycle race Aug. 14, 1909 on the 2.5-mile IMS oval.” In no time, fans of the four wheels were interested, wanting to learn what MotoGP fans have known for 60 years.
Grand Prix motorcycling racing is one of the most dangerous and thrilling sports in the entire world. With no roll cages to product riders and no seat belts, while their knees skim along the asphalt around turns as their bike sits 60 degrees off the ground. Not to mention, in rain OR shine!
In 2009, fans went B-A-N-A-N-A-S when Alex de Angelis became the first motorcycle rider to top 200 mph on the front straightaway during the race. Ever since MotoGP has been back in action at Indy and fans haven’t been able to get enough it, even though the Red Bull Indianapolis GP is the youngest of the three annual events at IMS, it’s a hot ticket.
From 2009-2011, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway celebrated 100 years of worldwide leadership in motorsports entertainment through its Centennial Era event. IMS honored the 100th anniversaries of the opening of the historical racetrack, in 1909, and of the inaugural Indianapolis 500, in 1911.
"No other motorsports facility in the world has the rich history and tradition of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway," IMS Chairman of the Board Mari Hulman George said. "The Centennial Era celebration pays homage to the heroes and events of our storied past while anticipating an even more glorious future."
- Seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi won the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP in 2008.
- Jorge Lorenzo has earned the most podium (top three) finishes in the MotoGP class scoring four podiums in the first five years of the Red Bull Indianapolis GP. Dani Pedrosa is second with three podiums and Americans Nicky Hayden and Ben Spies tied with two apiece.
- Alex de Angelis became the first motorcycle rider to top 200 mph at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, reaching a top velocity of 201.3 mph during the 2009 race. The current motorcycle top speed record at Indianapolis is 208.6 mph set by Honda’s Dani Pedrosa in 2012.
- Riders in the Red Bull Indianapolis GP can lean their bikes as much as 60 degrees in corners, with the tire contact patch with the asphalt only equaling the size of a credit card.
- Dani Pedrosa holds the MotoGP track record in Indianapolis. Pedrosa clocked a lap at one minute, 38.813 seconds on his factory Honda during qualifying in 2012.
- Dani Pedrosa is the only rider to win multiple Red Bull Indianapolis GPs. Pedrosa won the premier class in 2010 and 2012. He is also the only rider to earn multiple pole positions (two) in the MotoGP class in Indianapolis.
- The very first motorized race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a motorcycle event Aug. 14, 1909.
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