Marc VDS Racing's Scott Redding continued to shake up the established order in Moto2 at Indianapolis, topping the timesheets during the second session of free practice. Redding finished ahead of FIMMCO Speed Up's Andrea Iannone and the Thai Honda Bimota of Ratthapark Wilairot. Julian Simon finished the session in 4th aboard the Mapfre Aspar Suter, while championship leader Toni Elias end up 5th fastest. Jason Di Salvo was once again the fastest of the Americans, putting his FTR ahead of Roger Lee Hayden's Moriwaki and Kenny Noyes' Promoharris bike.
The first session of free practice for the Moto2 class saw a surprise name at the top of the timesheets: A flying lap at the end of practice saw Marc VDS Racing's Scott Redding set the fastest time, just sneaking ahead of championship leader Toni Elias and Elias' main rival Andrea Iannone. The Gresini rider and the FIMMCO Speed Up man had led for most of the session, fighting for top spot with JIR's Simone Corsi, but all three were pipped by Redding in the final minutes.
MotoGP's history at Indianapolis got off to a tempestuous start, quite literally. The inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix in 2008 took place in the shadow of Hurricane Ike, but despite the storm, and the global financial meltdown, the race has had a fairly strong attendance for the past two years, with 91,000 paying customers in '08, dropping to just over 75,000 last year, in the midst of the global recession. 2010, however, is the last year of Indianapolis' three-year contract to stage a MotoGP event, and as yet, no announcements about the future of the race have been made.
Should you be considering heading to Indianapolis for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, but are still undecided as to whether to go or not, here's news that may help you make up your mind. Obviously the visceral roar of MotoGP engines, combined with the thrilling spectacle of 41 Moto2 bikes heading into the first corner together is the main attraction of the weekend, but if you were worried about being bored outside the track, you need worry no more. For Indianapolis Motor Speedway has just released a comprehensive list of all activities taking place over the weekend, both on and off track. There's something for just about everyone here, and visitors to the race should be more worried about fitting everything in than finding things to do.
Yesterday we told you about two must-see events taking place during the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, today, we have more events making a trip to Indy worth your while. If you're looking for something to do either before the bikes hit the track or after they're done, then here's a few ideas: You can get a close-up view of the bikes during the pit walk on Friday morning; you can bid on some of the best motorcycling memorabilia available during the Riders for Health auction, also on Friday morning; and you can kick off the race weekend with the downtown event and bike parade at Monument Circle on Thursday. Details of the events below, from Indianapolis Motor Speedway press releases.
Randy Mamola truly is a MotoGP legend. The American may never have won a championship, but the perennial runner up was always a huge favorite with both the fans and the media. To this day, Mamola is still a regular face in the paddock, the American riding the Ducati X2 two-seater for VIPs and guests, although budget cuts and the loss of the live broadcast rights meant that he is no longer the pit lane reporter for British Eurosport.
Mamola holds strong opinions about the sport of MotoGP, which regular expounds both in his column for US magazine Road Racer X and on the Alpinestars website. MotoMatters.com's Scott Jones caught up with Mamola at Laguna Seca, to get his take on the Moto2 class.
MotoMatters: Randy, now that we're half way through the 2010 season, what are your thoughts on Moto 2 and what might be done to improve it next year?
Randy Mamola: I can hit this one from all angles; there are super pros and super cons. I think that in the economic world we're living in right now, there were a lot of things done to protect the class. Obviously we're coming from 250s. We know that a factory 250 was 1.2 million euros. And when you say that to an American, or anybody, you're going, What? But this is the cost of racing.
Dakota [Randy's son, currently in the 125GP class of BSB and the CEV] is racing in the Spanish Championship and the bikes are more than 100,000 euros. How is that possible when his bike is 15,000? It's material, and that's what material costs when you're dealing with cutting edge concepts.
No doubt many of MotoMatters.com's readers will be heading to the Brickyard, to attend the Red Bull Indianapolis GP. Obviously, the main reason to go to Indy is having the chance to see all three classes (125cc, Moto2 and MotoGP) racing in the US, but beyond the racing, the folks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway put on a lot more to hold the interest of race fans during the weekend. Here's two more reasons to head to Indianapolis, taken from press releases provided by IMS: The Cycle World Seminar and Yamaha Stars On Stage:
Cycle World Seminar
An American motorcycle racing legend and two rising American stars will be the featured guests at the Cycle World Seminar from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 27 on the SPEED Stage located on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway infield.
1993 500cc World Champion Kevin Schwantz and current Moto2 riders Roger Lee Hayden and Kenny Noyes will be among the guests.
The standard joke in motorsports paddocks around the world is that the way to make a small fortune in motor racing is to start off with a large one. MotoGP - like all other forms of motorsports - costs a lot of money, and somebody has to pay for it. The question of how much MotoGP costs - and how much money it generates - is an interesting one, and not one to which many people have a ready answer.
When the Grand Prix Commission met at Brno to officially confirm the replacement of the 125cc class - an 81mm 250cc four-stroke single, provisionally being named Moto3 - it was clear that keeping costs down was right at the top of their agenda. Instead of a spec engine as used in Moto2, the proposal included measures to prevent a horsepower war driving spending on the engines out of control, by requiring that any manufacturer wanting to produce engines for the class must sell the engines for a maximum of 10,000 euros and be prepared to supply at least 15 riders with bikes.
The good news in that announcement is that the Grand Prix Commission is thinking seriously about how to prevent the class once again being dominated by a single manufacturer charging monopoly prices to selected teams for the best bikes. That, at least, is progress, as so many of the recent rule changes have been so clearly open to manipulation, and a first step has been taken to prevent that. The bad news is that as they stand, the suggested solutions are so woefully inadequate for their intended aim that they more likely to encourage manipulation rather than reduce it.