MotoGP will return to the Brickyard next season

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The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has announced that MotoGP will return to the Brickyard’s 2.6-mile road course in 2014, with an expected race date of mid-August to be announced later.

According to a press release from the track, IMS and MotoGP promoter Dorna have begun discussions about a long-term pact beyond next year, which marks the end of the current contract.

MotoGP has ran at Indy since the 2008 season, when they replaced Formula One’s United States Grand Prix as the track’s third major annual event alongside the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400.

“We’re very pleased that we can bring our fans another thrilling MotoGP World Championship race in 2014 at IMS,” track president Doug Boles said in a statement. “The last six years have established a solid foundation for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, and we are optimistic about the growth of the event in Indianapolis.

“We are also eager to continue working with our friends at Dorna to ensure an exciting, long-term future for MotoGP at The Racing Capital of the World.”

In his own statement, Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta touched upon how the legendary track’s heritage has helped “grow the popularity of MotoGP in the United States and around the world.”

“I would like to thank the organization and staff at Indianapolis for their fantastic efforts to keep the race at their track, and I am already looking forward to returning next year,” Ezpeleta said.

Spanish rider Marc Marquez will start on pole for tomorrow’s main event at IMS.

Takuma Sato’s likeness revealed on Borg-Warner Trophy (PHOTOS)

Photos; Walt Kuhn
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INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.

Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.

It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.

Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)