Indianapolis, USA

TV Schedule For Indianapolis MotoGP Round In The US - It's On NBC

Though the coverage of MotoGP on network television will be incredibly useful for raising the profile of our favorite sport among casual viewers in the USA, it has confused the DVRs of many regular MotoGP fans. In vain do they search the Speed TV schedules for broadcast times for the season's second US GP.

The reason for their confusion is the fact that Speed is not showing the MotoGP race from Indy. Instead, the race will be shown by NBC, as the last instalment of a four race package the network secured prior to the start of the season. The race will be shown live, at 3PM EDT. Check your local NBC affiliate for more details, or keep an eye on the incredibly useful TV Racer website.

The good news - if such it can be called - is that all will be back to normal after Indy, and Speed TV will show the rest of the season's MotoGP races, usually on the same day, but mostly not live. 

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Toni Elias To Return To Gresini Honda?

The fall from favor of Luis d'Antin has done the team he previously ran nothing but good. Since the Spanish former GP star was forced out of the team, the team's fortune has improved vastly.

This is especially true for Toni Elias. The Spaniard has had two podiums in a row, at Brno and Misano, and has gone from being the man most likely to leave MotoGP to one of the premier class' hottest tickets.

For the past few weeks, Elias has been most closely linked with the extra Kawasaki that Jorge Martinez is likely to be running next year. Martinez, who runs the extremely successful Aspar teams in the 125 and 250 classes, is keen to step up to the MotoGP class, and having secured a bike to run, as well as likely sponsorship from a Spanish backer, now needs a Spanish rider to keep the sponsors happy. Toni Elias would have fit that bill perfectly.

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2008 Indianapolis FP1 Times Day 1 - Ant West Shines In The Rain

It's raining in Indy, so it must be Ant West's day in the sun. West, Alex de Angelis and Casey Stoner are the only riders to be close, the rest are a little way behind. At the rear of the field, Dani Pedrosa is finding that switching tire makes in the middle of the season is a long way from being a quick fix to his perceived problems.  

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Pedrosa To Run Pneumatic Valve Engine At Indy

Going in to Indianapolis, we already knew that big changes were ahead for Dani Pedrosa. The shock tire switch announced by Pedrosa and the Repsol Honda team, which saw Pedrosa dumping Michelin to use Bridgestones, meant that Pedrosa would race at Indianapolis on just one day of testing and a couple of days of practice on the Japanese rubber. It was a risk, but also an investment in the future.

With today's announcement, Pedrosa looks like he has decided to forget all about this season, and put all his cards on 2009. For today, the Repsol Honda team announced that Dani Pedrosa would not only be using Bridgestone tires at the Brickyard in Indianapolis, he would also be running the pneumatic valve engine which his team mate Nicky Hayden has been using since the British Grand Prix back in June.

Pedrosa had previously rejected using the air valve motor, as he was uncomfortable with the engine's more fierce power delivery, preferring the smoother steel valve spring engine. But after setting a lap of 1'34.652 during the post-race test at Misano, the Spaniard has decided to make the switch to the more powerful air valve bike.

With both the pneumatic valve engine and the Bridgestones underneath him, Pedrosa has already embarked on his preparations for the 2009 season. Both Repsol and Pedrosa are tired of waiting for the first Spanish champion since Alex Criville. Ten years, it seems, is enough.

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Indianapolis Loves MotoGP, Hates Noisy Motorcycles

The news that MotoGP would be going to Indianapolis, bringing the return of motorcycle racing to this historic track, was met with interest and acclaim all around the world. The Brickyard at Indy is one of the world's legendary tracks, a name recognized by both race fans and non-race fans alike.

But not everyone is enthusiastic. And we're not talking about riders worrying about problems with grip or the final turn back onto the front straight. No, it seems that the town elders of Speedway, Indiana - the town which is home to the track - are afraid that the arrival of thousands of MotoGP fans on their noisy motorcycles could keep the upstanding citizens of their town awake at night.

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Provisional 2009 MotoGP Calender Announced

As expected, the Chinese round of MotoGP at Shanghai is off the calendar, and as predicted earlier this week, the Hungarian Grand Prix will take place in late summer. But the calendar has a lot of significant shakeups: Motegi moves from late September to the spring, June is a lot less busy, with only 2 lots of back-to-back races in 2009, rather than three pairs which we saw this year. The British Grand Prix moves from June to late July, and Estoril switches back to October.

DateGrand PrixCircuit
April 12th*QatarLosail
April 26thJapanMotegi
May 3rdSpainJerez
May 17thFranceLe Mans
May 31stItalyMugello
June 14thCatalunyaCatalunya
June 27th**NetherlandsAssen
July 5th***United StatesLaguna Seca
July 19thGermanySachsenring
July 26thGreat BritainDonington Park
August 16thCzech RepublicBrno
August 30thIndianapolisIndianapolis
September 6thSan Marino & Riviera di RiminiMisano
September 20thHungaryBalaton
October 4thPortugalEstoril
October 18thAustraliaPhillip Island
October 25thMalaysiaSepang
November 8thValenciaRicardo Tormo - Valencia

* Evening race
** Saturday race
*** Only MotoGP class

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Canepa Fastest Again On Day Two Of Indy Tire Test

Bridgestone and Ducati test rider Niccolo Canepa was fastest once again on the 2nd and final day of the MotoGP tire test at Indianapolis. The Italian put in a fast lap towards the end of the session, after Ben Spies had been fastest for much of the day. Times were generally around a second quicker on Wednesday, despite top speeds being unchanged.

Suzuki's regular test rider Nobuatsu Aoki did not feature on the 2nd day of testing. The Japanese veteran ran 4 laps on Tuesday to help get the bike set up for Ben Spies, before letting Spies get on with the testing. Aoki spent the rest of the time in the pits, helping Spies communicate with Suzuki's Japanese engineers.

The next time the MotoGP bikes roll out on the track at Indy, it will be for keeps, at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP in September.

1Niccolo CanepaBridgestone/Ducati Test Rider1'43.006998 laps
2Ben SpiesSuzuki1'43.0912124 laps
3Erwan NigonMichelin/Honda Test Rider1'43.627692 laps
4Olivier JacqueKawasaki Test Rider1'43.818887 laps
5William CostesMichelin/Yamaha Test Rider1'44.068074 laps
6Wataru YoshikawaYamaha Test Rider1'44.2975108 laps

 

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Youtube Videos From Indy Tire Test

The Internet has truly democratized the media, though the debate remains as to whether this is a good thing or not. One of the most obvious benefits of this revolution in the media is that sites such as Youtube allow ordinary people to record the events they witness and share them with the rest of the world.

By just such a fortuitous turn of events, video is emerging from the MotoGP tire test currently being held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Here's a couple of videos we found on Youtube, by way of the Adventure Rider Racing forum.

Ben Spies at Indy:

 

 

Turns 1 through 10 at Indy

 

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