Monday, April 07, 2008


Nicky Hayden with a new Honda MotoGP racer, and the original Indy racing motorcycle, an Indian board tracker, which is claimed to have raced there in 1909
Former World Champion GP racer Nicky Hayden inaugurated the new MotoGP course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this morning; not on a modern machine, but a 1909 Indian board track racer. The Indian is from the Indy Hall of Fame Museum, and was apparently used in the first-ever motorcycle race at the track, 99 years ago.  Hayden established a brief lap record of 5 minutes, at an average speed of 45mph. "It felt like 100mph, the thing was vibrating so bad." He laughed about the experience...but I would suggest the Indian was restored for show, not go, as they certainly would do near 70mph around the track originally.
Nicky Hayden at speed on the Indian board track racer...the first time such a sound has echo'd off these walls for a Century
More importantly... the outfit! Someone kitted him out fairly well, although in the day a necktie or bow tie would have been de rigeur. And the sweater would have been a tighter fit, and a heavier knit - none of this baggy cashmere stuff, those old racing sweaters are stiff! They actually offered some protection in the event of a spill - I have a couple of them, and they're difficult to get on and off. Still, nice one, Nicky.
Here's the original motorcycle race poster from 1909.  Read more about motorcycle racing at Indy here.

No comments: