for Rizla Suzuki
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP is making its second transatlantic trip of the season as it travels to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the inaugural Indianapolis Grand Prix in America.
Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen head to the mid-west of America following a run of impressive results that has included four consecutive top-five finishes including three successive podiums between the pair. The two regular stars of the Rizla Suzuki team will be joined this weekend by reigning American Superbike Champion Ben Spies for his second wild-card ride of the season – his third MotoGP race overall after deputising for Capirossi at Donington in June. Spies is one of the few riders that has ridden at the new circuit after being involved in a two-day tyre test for the Rizla Suzuki team in July.
The Indianapolis Grand Prix is a new event on the MotoGP calendar and when the bikes take to the track on Sunday 14th September it will be the first time that motorcycles have raced at the historic ‘Brickyard’ since 1909! The circuit is known as the Brickyard due to over three million paving bricks that used to cover the whole surface, today just less than a metre of these bricks exist at the start line known as the ‘Yard of Bricks’. The 4,216m track is a completely new layout which, although it will use part of the existing circuit, will completely bypass the famous banked turns of the oval that is used for Indy Car racing and NASCAR. With a permanent seating capacity for more than 250,000 people and temporary infield seating that raises attendance to an approximate 400,000, it is the largest and highest-capacity sporting stadium facility in the world - it is so big it features an 18-hole championship golf course inside its grounds - and a huge crowd is expected when MotoGP rolls into town.
The three-pronged Rizla Suzuki attack will be rolling out on to Gasoline Alley to take on the high-speed boulevards of the famous Indianapolis Speedway on Friday 12th September for two free practice sessions. This will be followed by another practice on Saturday morning and then the all-action qualifying session in the afternoon. Sunday’s 28-lap race gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (18.00hrs GMT) when all three Rizla racers will be gunning for glory.
“This is going to be a really interesting event as nobody has ever raced here and we will all need to learn the track and how it performs with little data available to us before we go there. Ben has done a test there so we have a bit of an idea how the Bridgestone tyres will perform, but it will still be a bit of a gamble when we choose our allocation for the weekend on Thursday. I am looking forward to it though as I used to watch the Indy 500 on TV and now it will be great to race a MotoGP bike at such a famous venue, I just hope we can put on a good show to convert some the American car fans into bike fans!”
“I am really excited about going to Indianapolis. The track looks great and it will be a new challenge for us. The bike is working well with the new chassis and although we didn’t get it quite right in Misano it seemed to improve lap-by-lap in the race so that should be good for when we start setting it up for this weekend’s race. “
“I’m really looking forward to racing a MotoGP bike again on American soil and I’ve been lucky enough to have done some laps on the Indy circuit so I am pretty comfortable with it. I am looking for a pretty good weekend and it looks like the Suzuki has been working well over the last few races, so that should help us to be competitive. It should be fun and we’ll try our best to get a good result for all the American fans that will be turning up to watch us!”