MotoGP 2012 at Laguna Seca

The MO team makes its annual trip to Laguna


Once again, your faithful Motorcycle.com staff has taken our annual trip to Laguna Seca to watch the MotoGP circus make its first of two events in America during the 2012 season. Fans and racers alike were greeted by typical Monterey weather the entire weekend: thick fog and chilly weather in the morning, with the sun shining through and temps hovering near 70 degrees by midday.

By now you probably know what happened during the race; Lorenzo led the first half with Stoner hot on his heels. The Australian world champion made an inspired tire choice, selecting the softer rear tire while his rivals chose the harder compound. Stoner babied his tires in the first half of the race and made his move on the Spaniard midway through the race and never looked back, winning in convincing fashion. Of course, this is the Cliff Notes version of the race. Check out Bruce Allen’s recap for all the details.

This year, we’re going to do things a little differently with our Laguna Seca MotoGP coverage. Instead of telling you all about the cool things we saw, we’re going to take this opportunity to showcase the fine photography skills of Mike Maez, Motorcycle.com’s expert shutterbug.

We were able to get Maez an official photographer’s credential, meaning he could go practically anywhere to snap pics. Along with shooting the racers out on track, Maez also captured the scenes in the pits, interesting displays in the paddock and, perhaps most importantly, the many umbrella girls in all their beauty.

Dorna officials claim attendance figures were slightly higher this year than last. This year’s three-day event total of 137,221 was a slight bump from the 136K in 2011. It seemed to us the stands were less occupied this time, especially on Saturday. Race-day attendance of 52,677 was basically unchanged.

Business appeared to be strong in other areas, too. Steve Fields, Executive Director of Corporate Development at Laguna Seca Raceway, said the track sold out all of its available vendor space within the track. We’d like to think this is a positive sign the industry is rebounding from the effects of the recession and is a sign of confidence in consumer spending. We can only hope this trend continues in the years to come.

Lastly, word from the rumor mill at Laguna has Dorna in talks with track management at the new Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Discussions revolved around CotA hosting a MotoGP round, possibly in 2013. The new track, which is soon to be completed, is on schedule to host a Formula 1 return to U.S. soil later this year. If a deal is struck to bring MotoGP to Austin, the Indianapolis round would likely get the axe.

That’s enough words from us. What follows are our favorites of the nearly 4000 shots Maez took during the weekend. Be sure to view the gallery to see more shots that made the cut.

US Grand Prix Laguna Seca crowd
Valentino Rossi
Toni Elias Pramac Ducati Aleix Espargaro Power Electronics CRT
Jagermeister Jagerettes
Pro Italia custom Moto Guzzi V7 Racer
Laguna Seca model in police costume
Police spec Zero motorcycle
Nicky Hayden Ducati Island
Ted Rich Zero S TTXGP e-Superstock
Yamaha Custom Showdown
Troy Siahaan
James Ellison Cal Cructhlow Stefan Bradl
Casey Stoner Repsol Honda
AMA Daytona Sportbike Laguna Seca
Red Bull grid girls
   
Valentino Rossi
Ben Spies Yamaha

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