The layout is similar to the setup used for the Formula OneUnited States Grand Prix between 2000 and 2007, but not identical. It has been reversed to a counterclockwise layout, with a new complex of corners just after the start-finish line, the Snake Pit section, known as such because of its location in the section where notorious revelry took place during the oval races in the 1970s. This means that the bikes do not use any of the banked oval corners. The double-hairpin at the Hulman Straight was replaced with the traditional esses. Furthermore, the motorcycles use the acceleration lanes in the South Chutes (between oval Turn 1 and 2) for the short straight between the Snake Pit and the Museum curves that enter into the infield.
The circuit was reprofiled in 2014, with three new motorcycle-only sections—one in the Snake Pit (which has become a prime overtaking spot), a more open entrance to Hulman Straight, and the final esses leading to the pit straight was changed to be more open and flowing.
The inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP took place 99 years after the previous motorcycle race at the track, in 1909.
The first motorsports event at the track consisted of 7 motorcycle races, sanctioned by the Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM), on August 14, 1909. This was originally planned as a two-day, 15-race program, but ended before the first day was completed, due to concerns over suitability of the track surface for motorcycle use.The Rider with most victories at this grand prix is Nicolas Terol with three victories in the 125cc two-stroke class, followed by Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez with two victories each. and all the others have only one victory. This grand prix has been won only by Spanish, Italian and Australian riders.
The race has become part of a major motorcycle event organised by Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Motorcycles on Meridian motorcycle rally, held in Meridian Street near Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis, attracting c. 10,000 cyclists each night. Also featured is an AMA Grand National Championship race held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds during the weekend, which has become analogous to midget car racing's "Night Before the 500" held during the Indianapolis 500, often drawing star MotoGP riders in attendance.
NOTE: Moto3 was known as the 125cc class until 2011, when the FIM changed the formula from 125cc two-stroke engines to 250cc four-stroke engines. Moto2 was known as the 250cc class until 2009, when the FIM changed the formula from 250cc two-stroke engines to a one-make 600cc four-stroke Honda engine class (chassis are open competition), with the FIM planning in 2016 to open the 600cc engines to multiple manufacturers.
^The 2008 250cc race was initially postponed after the MotoGP race due to torrential rain & winds caused by Hurricane Ike just before the start of the race, it was subsequently cancelled for the same reason.