Indianapolis Motor Speedway has given a clear signal that it plans to extend its MotoGP relationship beyond this year, by announcing a resurfacing of the circuit.
The Infield track has been criticised by riders for its varying grip levels, caused by several different sections of asphalt.
The newly announced Texas MotoGP round, from 2013, has cast doubt on the future of the existing Indianapolis and Laguna Seca US events and the resurfacing is a clear sign that Indy doesn't intend to slip off the calendar.
Laguna Seca has a contract until 2014 while Indianapolis only signed a single-year extension of its initial contract, bringing it to the end of 2011.
The question of if there could be three US Grands Prix in 2013 will be answered when (and if) Indy signs a new MotoGP contract for 2012 and beyond, the most likely timing for which will be during the 2011 race weekend in late August.
The full press release from Indianapolis Motor Speedway can be seen below:
'Indianapolis, Thursday, April 21, 2011 - The infield section of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course will be repaved this summer in anticipation of the Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP race Aug. 26-28.
'The project, which will repave 1.5 miles of the circuit from Turn 5 through Turn 16, will start Thursday, June 9. Turn 5 is where the course leaves the short chute between Turns 1 and 2 of the oval. Turn 16 is where the circuit leaves the infield near the start of the front straightaway at the exit of Turn 4 of the oval.
'It's the first time this section of the course has been resurfaced since it was built in 2000. Turns 1 through 4 of the 2.621-mile circuit - located inside Turn 1 of the oval - were created in 2008 for the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP and will not be repaved during this project.
'The new asphalt will be consistent with the other sections of the course.
'“This project is an example of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway providing competitors the finest racing facilities in the world," said Mel Harder, IMS senior vice president, operations. "We had a very long, hard winter this year, which exacerbated the bumps and cracks in this aging section of the track.