Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Posted on: Monday, June 29, 2009 12:27 PM by Nicole Gustas
This weekend, the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix returns to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, bringing with it all the thrills and excitement of MotoGP racing. How thrilling does it get? Check out this video from last year's fierce battle between Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner: As the final lead-up to this weekend commences, sports writers are already making predictions and asking questions. Will Valentino Rossi get his record 101st win this weekend? Will Casey Stoner's mysterious stomach illness keep him off the podium at this year's Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix? Will Chris Vermeulen get his third podium in a row? The Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix is unique among MotoGP events in that it features only the fastest class of MotoGP racing, along with several AMA races. It is also unique in giving race fans the opportunity to meet the riders, and to ride the track on their own motorcycles. Organizers have expanded the program and ratcheted up the entertainment this year with Thursday's exhibition Superkart race between Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey, Kenny Roberts Sr. and Valentino Rossey and bicycle race for AMA competitors, and Saturday's live concert with James Toseland's band Crash. They've also stepped up the hospitality side, with paddock dining options from Bernardus Lodge and Kula Ranch, and even an on-site pub. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has been known for motorcycle racing since the 1970s, when Cal Rayborn won the first AMA national race in 1972 at Laguna Seca. Mazda Raceweay Laguna Seca CEO/General Manager Gill Campbell gave an interview with Superbike Planet earlier this month about the history of motorcycle racing at Laguna Seca. There's no doubt that, with over 150,000 motorcycle racing fans descending on Monterey County for the weekend, the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix is one of the area's biggest events. Even if you aren't heading to the raceway, you can get a taste of the action by checking out some sleek machines at Race Night on the Row on July 4. The hottest motorcycles will be shown off throughout Cannery Row from 5pm to 11pm.