The MotoGP world is visiting California this weekend for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at the famed Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Nestled in the hills of the Monterey Peninsula, Laguna Seca is one of the classic tracks in the United States filled with racing history. From the uphill start straight and downhill to turn one, the short shoots and the crazy corkscrew where desperate passes for the lead happen, the eyes of the motorcycle road racing world are fixed on the historic raceway for this weekend’s USGP.
The 2.238 mile, 11 turn road course will challenge the best racers and fans will experience one of the best races of the season. The U.S. Grand Prix is round 10 of the 18 round Moto GP series and the fouth in five weeks for the riders. The 2012 season has been filled with a lot of action both on and off the track. Coming in to Laguna Seca this weekend is the surprising news of Factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies leaving the Yamaha team at the end of the season. After being named Moto GP’s 2010’s Rookie of the Year, Spies has had lackluster performances on the Yamahas. The question is will he stay get stay in Moto GP or will he move back to the Superbikes? Only time will tell. One thing is for sure, Spies is excited to race in front of the home crowd.
The other Yamaha rider, Jorge Lorenzo comes in to Laguna Seca as the points leader. He is no stranger to Laguna Seca, as he took the win here in 2010 on his Ducati race bike. He came back in 2011 to grab the pole and finished second after Casey Stoner charged past him for the win. Lorenzo is looking to repeat his performance from 2010 and ride away with the win this weekend.
The Ducati’s of Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden are the ones to watch for this weekend. After receiving new parts for their race bikes, they are closer than ever to having their bike set up to contend for wins.
Hayden is looking forward to racing in front of the Laguna Seca crowd, where he took two of his most memorable wins in 2005 and 2006.