Indianapolis, USA

Follow Indianapolis Tire Test Times On Indy Website

For those of us not fortunate enough to make it to Indianapolis today and tomorrow, to watch the official MotoGP tire test being held at the circuit, there is still hope. Usually at such events, we have to wait around for times to be posted by local journalists to find out what's happening, but not this time. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is showing that it is ahead of its time, by displaying live timing from the test on its website.

This is extremely unusual, and very pleasing. Normally, only the official preseason IRTA test at Jerez features live timing, and even then, usually only of the "official qualifying session", usually referred to as the shootout for the BMW sports coupe. But by featuring live timing of the current test, Indianapolis is raising the profile of the event, and generating excitement about the Indianapolis GP due to be hosted there in mid September.

As the test is officially a tire test, none of the permanent riders on the GP grid are taking part, with the field mostly consisting of the various factories' official test riders. But there is one prominent participant, and that's Ben Spies, riding the Rizla Suzuki. Currently the reigning AMA Superbike champion is leading the field, but he is only 0.13 seconds ahead of Ducati's Niccolo Canepa. And although Indy's long front straight promised extremely high top speeds, so far, the riders are only hitting around 185 mph, or some 300 kmh.

You can find the test times here:

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More on Ben Spies Sitting Out at Assen

The BBC broadcast of the Assen MotoGP race offered some more insight into Ben Spies not taking advantage of Loris Capirossi’s bad luck to get more experience on the Rizla Suzuki 800cc machine. Suzuki Team Manager Paul Denning was interviewed briefly by Matt Roberts during the race and he had this to say about Spies opting not to ride the available bike: 

“[Spies] took his own choice. It was quite surprising for me, personally. I understand his reasons from a competitive point of view, but I would’ve thought it would’ve been a great thing to continue learning the bike. But that’s his decision and that was that.” 

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Four MotoGP Rounds To Be Broadcast By CBS And NBC This Summer

One of the biggest tasks which Dorna has set itself is the conquest of the American TV market. So far, that ambition has only met with limited, though still growing, success. Part of its problems has been that TV coverage of the races has been left to Speed TV, which is only available through cable or satellite providers, and usually involves an extra subscription charge.

In Europe, Dorna is already engaged in a process to switch from satellite broadcasters towards national broadcasters, or at least, to free-to-air terrestrial stations, as witnessed by the recent news that Dorna will not be renewing the broadcast contract with Eurosport in 2009. Dorna would like to pursue a similar policy in the US, but first, the popularity of the sport needs to grow.

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