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Which is faster around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, a Verizon IndyCar Series race car or a MotoGP motorcycle?
The answer was inconclusive Aug. 6, but it was fun to experiment.
Verizon IndyCar Series driver Marco Andretti piloted his No. 27 Snapple Honda next to MotoGP’s Dani Pedrosa, riding the No. 26 Repsol Honda, in an exhibition lap to help promote the weekend’s Red Bull Indianapolis GP. Both said they didn’t want the exhibition to end, and that some day they would like to try the other’s machine.
“I have a Repsol CVR (Honda motorcycle), it’s pretty cool – but nowhere near like these guys,’” said Andretti, a 10-year veteran of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. “It was fun, definitely a fun lap.”
The two sped off from the Yard of Bricks under a green flag waved by 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden and headed south down the main straight, a different look for Andretti considering the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis is run in the other direction on the road course.
Andretti’s Honda-powered Indy car has a turbocharged 2.2-liter V6 engine, making 700 horsepower and a top speed of 230 mph. It weighs roughly 1,575 pounds.
Pedrosa’s Repsol Honda motorcycle has a 1000cc V4 engine, making more than 240 horsepower and a top speed of 217 mph. It weighs roughly 350 pounds.
The cars stayed close to each other around much of the 16-turn course, with the Indy car able to power through the turns with its aero package while the MotoGP bike relied on a leaning Pedrosa to keep pace.
“You can roll so much corner speed because of the aero, you have downforce. This thing’s quick,” Andretti said of his Honda. “But the midrange of the bike is pretty awesome.”
The two came off Turn 16 (Turn 4 of the oval) and had a drag race down the front straight, crossing the Yard of Bricks at nearly the same time.
“I enjoyed it very much. It’s always special to do something like this,” said Pedrosa, the Red Bull Indianapolis GP champion in 2010 and 2012. “I was hearing his engine more than mine, but it was very nice when we were in a straight line together at full speed.
“I’d like some day to try one of these cars, I can see it’s very, very powerful. (Marco) also wants to ride my bike, so maybe one day we can change.”