IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Fans crowd IMS for MotoGP qualifying

Cat Andersen/Eyewitness News
/ Source: WTHR-TV

Cat Andersen/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - Thousands of MotoGP fans attended qualifying Saturday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But some of the biggest fans are getting paid to be there.

Qualifying day brought out the biker in just about everyone at the Speedway.

"Oh, the speed, the excitement," said Jeff Harmon of New Palestine. "These are the best bikes in the world. Really neat to see, really like looking at them."

But some wanted to feel the power for themselves. Vendors say the need for speed has been good for business.

"This year, our parts and accessory sales have already doubled the first day from last year," said Rob Powers, a regional manager for Yamaha.

Fans found room to splurge despite the tough economic times.

"I really believe they come here for vacation from all over the world and it's really part of their culture, part of their experience," Powers said.

Fans lined up, trying to get the perfect picture all day Saturday. But some of the biggest fans were inside the fence.

"What better seat than to be a hundred feet from the track?" asked Craig Voris of the Moto Taxi team.

"We're taxiing the celebrities of the race around," said Mike Harrell.

Moto Taxi picks up where the riders' bikes left off.

"If they're unfortunate enough to have a crash and they don't need an ambulance ride, each of us will pick up the rider wherever the accident takes place and get them back to their paddock and back on their bike, particularly during qualifying," Harrell said.

"I picked up Loris Capirossi yesterday, right at the end of his session. He had to get off, coming out of [Turn] 9, got loose," Voris said.

They say after wiping out, riders get right back in the saddle 90 percent of the time. They can't afford to lose any more precious time when they're qualifying.