Dog on track as MotoGP returns to CoTA

Thomas Luthi (12), of Switzerland, and Randy Krummenacher (4), of Switzerland, take part in an open practice session for the MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas MotoGP motorcycle race at the Circuit of the Americas, Friday, April 11, 2014, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — MotoGP returns for the third year in a row Friday at the Circuit of the Americas. Despite the chances of rain, everything is still scheduled as planned — for the most part. Practice came to a halt for a bit as a stray dog wandered onto the track.

The gates opened at 8:30 a.m., and the motorcycles hit the track at 9 a.m. The big draw for this event is watching the bikes top speeds of 200 mph and seeing the riders take those tight turns with their knee hitting the ground.

This year, event planners at CoTA hope to draw more people out by making it more of a festival-like event, similar to Formula One. There’s a Handbuilt Motorcycle Show in downtown on Fifth Street and a collection of memorabilia from motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel on display at the racing event. Spectators can see his helmets, motorcycles, even x-rays from his many broken bones.

As the Red Bull skydivers are preparing for this weekend’s jump, they spoke about their jump last year with Morning Meteorologist David Yeomans, who is now a pro.

Morning Meteorologist David Yeomans skydiving with Red Bull crew in 2014
Morning Meteorologist David Yeomans skydiving with Red Bull crew in 2014

Also, there are new ticket options this year, such as single-day passes, free admission for kids 15 and under with a ticketed adult, and free parking for motorcycles.

Practice happens happen Friday, qualifying races happen Saturday, and the main event is on Sunday.

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