Here at the Indianapolis Brick Yard, there's a doubleheader for AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Harley-Davidson Series. It's the only double-header for the Vance & Hines XR1200 Series in 2012 and it's only the second year that the Harley-Davidson XR1200 bikes have been racing at Indianapolis, so it will be a real treat for motorcycle racing fans.
Last year, the first year the Vance & Hines XR1200 Series raced at Indy, was also a doubleheader — and it was certainly an exciting event. This weekend the Indianapolis Motor Speedway also hosts the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, which is the 9th round of the MotoGP World Championship. So in addition to the Harley-Davidson XR1200 bikes, we'll also be watching MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 races this weekend.
Us vs. Them
The XR1200 riders are getting an unusual paddock arrangement for the 2012 racing weekend at Indy, putting them in an AMA world of their own. They are separated from the MotoGP riders by steel fences and blue canvas temporary dividing walls which have been erected next to the Moto 3 pit garages.
For their qualifying rides, the XR1200 riders have to use a temporary grid within their allocated area. Then an AMA official riding a scooter escorts them onto the track at turn 9, thus ensuring that the MotoGP paddock and pit work areas aren't contaminated by any Harley-Davidson XR1200 oil.
This is creating a palpable "us vs. them" feeling between the XR1200 riders and the top-level MotoGP riders they are so obviously being separated from.
Improving and Expanding XR1200
Even though there is an obvious separation between the two race series, it’s great to see the XR1200 program here in Indy for a second year. The Indy paddock is full of Europeans and they all love to watch the nail-biting, handlebar-slamming racing that fans have come to expect from in this home-grown, American racing series.
This year the AMA has raised the winning pot for the Vance & Hines XR1200 Series to $50,000 in order to encourage more riders here at Indy. So far it looks like their decision is having the desired effect. You still have your front runners like Kyle Wyman, Tyler O’Hara and Michael Barnes but this weekend the pole top spot was taken by PJ Jacobson with a qualifying time of 1:54.984, with second place on the grid going to Kyle Wyman with a 1:56.767.
The XR1200 races as Indianapolis this weekend promise to be the most exciting of the 12 series program, but you will have to wait until 4:55 to find out the results of first race.