IMS pleased with MotoGP weekend

Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and CEO Jeff Belskus came away impressed by last weekend's Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix and said he sees a future for MotoGP at the track.

One year remains on the contract, but the new Speedway boss spoke with optimism about motorcycle racing remaining at IMS beyond that.

"We think this has a bright future," he said. "We may be in the third year of an original three-year agreement, but I hope there are many years to come on it."

Talks have not begun on an extension, Belskus said. But because races are planned more than a year in advance, a MotoGP decision is expected to be made before next year's race on Aug. 29, said Speedway spokesman Ron Green.

Belskus, who succeeded Tony George on June 30, said prior to Sunday's race that it was an important year for MotoGP at Indy in terms of the Speedway evaluating what it had.

Hurricane-like conditions shortened last year's inaugural race to 20 laps, but it drew more fans than this year's run in pleasant conditions. Sunday's crowd count was 75,130, or 15,934 behind 2008, according to Dorna, MotoGP's commercial rights holder. Overall, the three-day event had 27,372 fewer tickets sold.

Belskus was not discouraged by those numbers, particularly in a struggling economy.

"I'm very pleased with the weekend. It was a satisfying event for us and the city," he said. "Our tickets were off a little bit, but from what we've seen from other sporting events and most motor sports events, we're still satisfied with the attendance of this event. I had a good feeling this weekend." Indy Star

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