Motorcycle racing returning to Indianapolis Motor Speedway after a five-year absence

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Motorcycle racing will return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after a five-year absence in a MotoAmerica event scheduled for Aug. 21-23.

IMS officials announced the event, called the Championship of Indy, on Thursday morning.

The last time motorcycles competed at IMS was in August 2015, when the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix ended an eight-year run at the track’s road course. That race was a support event of the MotoGP World Championship.

Next year’s event will feature all five classes of MotoAmerica racing—Superbike, Stock 1000, Supersport, Twins and the Liqui Moly Junior Cup.

MotoAmerica is led by CEO Wayne Rainey, a former motorcycle racer who won three world championships in the early 1990s before being paralyzed from the chest down in a 1993 racing accident.

“The very first motor race at IMS was a motorcycle event in 1909, and we’re proud to welcome the return of two-wheeled racing at the Speedway with MotoAmerica in 2020,” IMS President Doug Boles said in a written statement. “Wayne Rainey and everyone at MotoAmerica have done a great job reinvigorating motorcycle road racing in the United States, and we can’t wait to see the best American and international riders produce some of the best competition anywhere next August at the Racing Capital of the World.”

The Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix left Indianapolis with two years left on its contract after a mutual decision by IMS and Dorna Sports, the Madrid-based rights holder for the MotoGP series.

The international series had struggled to draw fans in the United States, in part because of a dearth of top American competitors. Attendance at 2015 race was about 67,000.

Having all five classes MotoAmerica racing compete is expected to bring new life to the event.

“We are thrilled to be headed back to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a MotoAmerica round next year,” Rainey said in written comments. “Being there along with MotoGP in 2015 was a great experience, and our races were extremely close and exciting. Now we get the chance to go back with all of our classes in a standalone event, and that’s a real privilege. It also shows just how far our series has come since our first year.”

The MotoAmerica event will take place the same weekend as the Motorcycles on Meridian festival Saturday evening, Aug. 22, in downtown Indianapolis. The annual event is hosted and planned by Downtown Indy Inc.

IMS said it will soon make ticket information available for the race.

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