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.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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