17 July 2007
Q&A: Red Bull Indianapolis GP.
Well, one of the things I think that we're proud of is that usually the events of the Speedway transcend and bring more people to the community, and it's about what happens downtown and the other places around it. I'm sure that there's going to be other opportunities as it relates to motorcycles. Who knows what might happen at the Fairgrounds and other things around the event. So yeah, I think this is going to be more than just what happens at the Speedway.
Kenny, one of the big complaints with the Formula One crowd here was there was no place to pass, but it doesn't seem to make any difference in MotoGP as long as there's some pavement, you guys seem to - does it matter if it's flat or if you have a lot of elevation changes?
Well, I've seen the layout now. The way that they've set up and actually modified the existing Formula One circuit is going to create even more passing than I think most of the tracks out there. Certainly you're going to have double drafting down the front straight. If you have two equal bikes, if somebody gets a drive out of the last corner, they get passed, you're going to have the ability to repass into Turn 1. And you're going to have a double right as your first two right-hand corners. And there's going to be areas to where you can actually block pass up in (Turns) 6 and 7 and areas like that. So I do see that it's going to be one of the more interesting circuits to be able to do that.
And again the machinery is going to be - if you basically just put Valentino [Rossi] on the back and then you have him passing through everybody to come toward the front, plus the machinery difference, it should be a good race. [Laughter]
Joie, if F1 were to return at some point, is the existing course still going to be there, or will it run on the new course or a combination of the two?
One of the things that we did moving forward is we - I'm not sure if it might be the only time, but we had a joint FIM/FIA inspection. So any changes that are being made to the road course should Formula One ever return, we still could use those changes for Formula One.
What will you use for safety barrier on the outside of the last corner?
Who did I ride with today, who designed the track? Kevin Forbes, yes. So there's still some discussion maybe about possibly tightening that turn up a little bit more to make sure that you come on to it accelerating out of first or second gear and maybe only 15 to 30-degrees towards that wall, which would be coming off of Turn 4. And they have the ability to do it. And if you can do that, that wall won't be a factor.
And then what you can do just in case there's a real weird [accident] - with the safety committee, with Carmelo leading the way in Europe, what we're able to do is use all types of different protection. Now what we're doing is planning for the freak accidents, like throttle sticking or oil in the back tyre, blah blah, blah. So what you could do there, you don't want any type of A protection, which is your soft air bag. Because if you hit it at a sharp angle it catches you and continually keeps you into the wall. So you could use a conveyor belt with tyres behind that. Or Indy themselves can come up with something that - you want something that has a lot of, you know, you don't want any type of friction. So anything you can do along that. Because you're going to be hitting it more of a glancing blow, not kind of straight into it. Especially if they're able to make the modifications to that last turn.
Joie, there appeared to be some sort of discussion over the exact date of this event. Would you talk about the choice of September 14th.
Well, for us we have a fairly busy summer. And as we started discussing the opportunities with MotoGP, obviously we still had Formula One on our schedule. But also taking into account their schedule in terms of where they'd be around the world. We started looking at late August and September as opportunities. I think one of the things in September, while working with MotoGP, is a little bit on the earlier side. We've hosted events here in late September, and once in a while the weather doesn't cooperate. So all in all, I think that we've seen some very nice weather early September, and I think it will be a great opportunity for a number of folks to ride on down to Indianapolis and check it out.
I was wondering, how many teams and how many riders to a team?
Normally we have in total around 80 riders between the three categories. In MotoGP there are around 20.
Joie, how big a crowd do you expect? Have you done any studies and projections or anything like that?
I'm going to take a page out of the book of these two riders here, and I'm just going to tell you 'big'. [Laughter].
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