MotoGP could follow F1 out of Indy
END OF AN ERA: MotoGP could follow Formula 1 in dropping the famous Indianapolis circuit off its race calendar in 2012.
Author: STEVE KEATING
Indianapolis, USA - Motorcycles were the first to race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway more than 100 years ago but the upcoming Indianapolis MotoGP could be the series last time at the famous US circuit.
After four years at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, MotoGP looks ready to follow Formula 1 and leave the home of American motor sport with the series having agreed to deals with Laguna Seca and the new Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Dorna, promoter and commercial rights holders for MotoGP, is confident the US could support three races but interest and attendance at Indianapolis has dropped since the first race in 2008. Javier Alonso, MotoGP events managing director, told Reuters Dorna had just signed a new two-year deal with Laguna Seca and earlier announced a 10-year agreement to stage races in Austin from 2013.
IMS president Jeff Belskus told Reuters: "We're still talking about what the future holds. I hope it (MotoGP) comes back and I hope we can come to terms. We would be disappointed to lose it but I think both sides will move on if that's what it comes to."
After watching Formula 1 leave The Brickyard in 2007, the departure of MotoGP would be another blow to the prestige of America's most famous racetrack.
DROP IN ATTENDANCE
The Indy 500 and Nascar's Brickyard 400 remain hugely successful events but the American Mid-West has never embraced international racing the same way.
The IMS did not reveal attendance figures Dorna said figures published in the Indianapolis Star showed weekend ticket sales for the event were declining steadily. The figures show MotoGP attendance as 174 052 in 2008, 146 680 in 2009 and 136 184 in 2010.