The Racing Capital
of the World
August 25, 2011 | By Tom Surber
Ten of the finest motorcycle racers in the world joined with five former Indianapolis Colts players for a fun-filled afternoon of American football Thursday, Aug. 25 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The event was held as a kickoff for the 2011 Red Bull Indianapolis GP weekend Aug. 26-28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Each stop on the international MotoGP circuit presents a “cultural” event leading up to the race weekend. In that event, a handful of the MotoGP riders participate in an activity that is part of the area’s culture. The football event took place in the venue that will host Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5, 2012 in Indianapolis.
Former Colts players Mark Herrmann, Bill Schultz, Mike Prior, Roosevelt Potts and Darvell Huffman demonstrated how to pass, catch, punt and kick a football, and the stars of MotoGP were enthusiastic to learn about the sport and exhibit their skills in the American game.
MotoGP stars taking part in the event were Americans Nicky Hayden, Colin Edwards and Ben Spies, and international riders Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso, Stefan Bradl, Marc Marquez, Nico Terol, Johann Zarco and Danny Kent.
Many of the MotoGP riders hailing from foreign lands demonstrated their soccer prowess by kicking field goals from as far away as 30 yards. One of the more humorous moments came when former Colts wide receiver Huffman lined up to go out for a pass with Lorenzo across from him as his defender.
Before former quarterback Herrmann took the snap, Huffman told Lorenzo, “If you’re going to keep up with me, you better go get your motorcycle!” With that, Huffman burst past Lorenzo and caught a perfect spiral from Herrmann for a touchdown.
Despite giving up an easy score to Huffman, Lorenzo enjoyed his day at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“I had a good time,” Lorenzo said. “This is a completely different sport from our sports in Spain like soccer and basketball, and it’s good to know the rules and how to play it. I wish I had time to learn more because only half an hour is not enough, but it’s better than nothing.”
2006 MotoGP World Champion Hayden played on a youth team named the Colts in his hometown of Owensboro, Ky.
“I’ve always been a Colts’ fan since I was a kid,” he said. “They’re about the closest team to Kentucky, and yeah, I played for the Colts, me and my little brother and one of my best friends, and since then I’ve always been a Colts’ guy.
“This is a real good event. The stadium is amazing, and running around here I’ve got to be careful because I don’t need to pull a hammy out here trying to turn a corner or something.”
Hayden said he’s happy to share American football with his fellow MotoGP competitors after experiencing many other sports in their home countries.
“Yeah, this is fun because I normally get to go do cricket events, soccer events and rugby events all over the world at different sporting places, and I never have a clue what’s going on and I’m lost, but here these guys are the ones who are lost, and I get to know what’s going on.”
Edwards, known as the “Texas Tornado,” appreciated the up-close look at a sport that borders religion in his home state.
“It’s awesome just to come out here and do something that we don’t normally do,” he said. “We’re way, way out of our element, but it’s fun to try, and you realize on the field how big it really is. You sit in the stands most of the time and you think it doesn’t look that big, but down here it’s huge.”
2011 Red Bull Indianapolis GP tickets: 2011 Red Bull Indianapolis GP tickets are on sale now.
To buy tickets, visit www.imstix.com, call the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street. Ticket office and phone hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.
The 2011 Red Bull Indianapolis GP is scheduled for Aug. 26-28 at IMS.
Race Day general admission tickets cost $40, with Friday general admission $10 and Saturday general admission $20. A three-day general admission ticket is $60. A Friday-Saturday general admission ticket is $25.
Children ages 12 and under will be admitted free any of the three days of the event when accompanied by an adult with a general admission ticket.
Race Day reserved seat prices will start at $70.