Laguna Seca is ready for action

MotoGP race highlights a weekend of activities

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jul. 16, 2008
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is ready to host the world’s premier motorcycle racing championship with the U.S. Grand Prix, July 18-20.

The MotoGP series headlines a weekend of races at the Monterey, Calif. track which will also feature the return of AMA Superbike racing back from its mid-season break.

American racing fans will be able to see stars such as MotoGP leader Valentino Rossi, 2007 champion Casey Stoner and American riders Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards. The MotoGP race will also include Ben Spies and Jamie Hacking, who will also be competing in AMA Superbike racing.

Ducati Marlboro's Casey Stoner won the 2007 U.S. Grand Prix en route to winning the season championship.Away from the track, racing fans will be able to take part in a number of activities.

Kenny Roberts and Eddie Lawson will be inducted into the Legends of Laguna Seca on July 17. Modesto, Calif.-native Roberts was the first American Grand Prix world champion, reigning over the 1978-1980 racing seasons. Racing for Yamaha, Roberts has 24 Grand Prix wins to his name. ‘Steady Eddie’ Lawson is a four-time Grand Prix world champion, owning the 1984, 1986, 1988 and 1989 titles. Born in Upland, Calif., Lawson has 31 Grand Prix race victories and 78 podium finishes in a ten-year career.

Also on July 17, the public is invited to a live auction benefiting the Riders for Health programs in Africa. Items up for auction include signed memorabilia from Nicky Hayden and passes to official race sponsor Yamaha’s VIP party. Riders for Health co-founder and former Grand Prix racer turned commentator Randy Mamola will be there, as well as guest of honor, three-time Grand Prix world champion Wayne Rainey. Current MotoGP riders Marco Melandri, James Toseland, Randy de Puniet and Edwards have said they intend to be there as well.

The ‘Kentucky Kid’ Nicky Hayden won the first two U.S. Grand Prix after Laguna Seca made its return to the MotoGP schedule in 2005.Yamaha’s Weekend of Champions gives fans the chance to meet legends from the manufacturer’s racing history. Past champions such as Broc Glover, Scott Russell, Rainey and Lawson will attend autograph sessions July 18-20.

LeoVince Exhausts hosts a free MotoGP fan party on July 18 at the Turn 5 Parts Unlimited hospitality chalet. Running from 5-7 p.m., the fan party offers door prizes including riding gear and LeoVince Exhaust parts and an appearance by the winner of the Miss Mazda Raceway pageant.

Two time World Superbike champion and current MotoGP rider James Toseland will provide musical entertainment as he and his band, Crash, will perform a free concert at the Yamaha Marketplace July 19 at 5-7 p.m..

Check back here on as we present further news, previews and information about the U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.