Ducati Schemes for Victory @ Laguna
PREVIEW - US ROUND
California's sun-drenched Monterey peninsula will be the scene for Round 9of the World Superbike Championship, which arrives at Laguna Seca thisweekend for what promises to be one of the most spectacular races of theyear. The incredible performance of championship leader Troy Bayliss (DucatiInfostrada) will surely be put to the test on Sunday as the Australian comesup not only against his WSBK rivals, but also a handful of the top AMASuperbike wild-card riders, eager to shine on home turf...
Laguna Seca has never been particularly kind to Troy in his two visits sofar, but the 33-year-old Australian will be looking to put the recordstraight this weekend. "I actually like Laguna Seca, it just hasn't beenkind to me yet so I want to turn it round this weekend and get a couple ofreally good results. I' m really looking forward to the races, there are alot of good riders here which should make for some really good racing. There's no secret to my winning streak at all, sometimes these things happen, youfeel comfortable with your team and bike and things just click and that'scertainly happened for me this year. I'm hoping to continue my form atLaguna with my Ducati Infostrada 998, which is working really welleverywhere we go. The bike feels totally different to last year, but thisyear I just seem to hop on it and it goes really well. "
Ben Bostrom (Ducati L&M), a double winner last year at Laguna Seca, comes toCalifornia in an optimistic frame of mind and determined to put his seasonback on the right track. "I sure hope things are going to happen thisweekend" declared Ben. "The season has been a bit of a let-down so far, soto come back to the circuit where I scored a double win last year makes mefeel really excited. I've been at home for the last couple of weekspreparing for this race and it's good to come here with all the AMASuperbike guys and the home crowd, as it's probably going to be one of thebest races of the year. It's going to be tough on Sunday because of all thetop guys up the front so I need to get on the first row and get a goodstart. I'll be trying to bring down Troy and end his run of wins and put the#155 Ducati up at the front!"
Ruben Xaus (Ducati Infostrada) wants to put the two Misano races out of hismind and concentrate on scoring more championship points on a track whereconsiderable physical effort will be required togain some good results.
"For sure it will be much better this weekend than Misano, where I had acouple of disastrous races" commented Ruben. "Laguna is a good track, fun toride on and there are a lot of good wild-card riders here, more than in anyother race, so my main aim will be to try and beat them. It's a tough trackand the weather will be really hot, but as soon as you start to enjoy thetrack and go fast, your mind doesn't think so much of the physical effort.Everyone can do 25 laps, you can either finish worse or better, but I willgive 100% and if everything is going OK for me, then I'm sure I will have agood race."
THE LAGUNA SECA CIRCUIT
Laguna Seca Raceway is recognised as one of the greatest and mostspectacular road-racing circuits in the USA. Built by the Sports Car RacingAssociation of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) in 1957, it has hosted someof the world's greatest racing series, including CART, NASCAR, FIA GT, GPMotorcycle and the Superbike World Championship. The track is famous for itsbeauty and daunting Corkscrew turn, which features a difficult left-rightswoop plunging more than 50 feet.
CIRCUIT RECORDS:Lap record: Corser (Aprilia) 1'26.144 (2001)Qualifying: Gobert (Ducati) 1'25.185 (1999)Superpole: Bostrom (Ducati) 1'25.705 (2001)RACE DISTANCE:2 x 28 laps, 100.856 kms (63 miles)2001 RESULTS:Race 1: 1. Bostrom (Ducati); 2. Hodgson (Ducati); 3. Corser (Aprilia).Race 2: Bostrom (Ducati); 2. Corser (Aprilia); 3. Hodgson (Ducati).
STAR WARS' EWAN McGREGOR TO ATTEND LAGUNA
Ducati will play host to film sensation Ewan McGregor at Laguna Seca.McGregor is currently in the US working on his latest project with ReneeZellweger, and will take a short break to attend the race and spend timewith World Superbike Champion Troy Bayliss. The Scottish actor, most famousfor his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the new Star Wars episodes, is a selfprofessed bike nut, owning several models including a 996. Racing is themain reason for his visit to Monterey but he will also make time in hisschedule to join Bayliss, Bostrom, Xaus and HMC Ducati's Doug Chandler onDucati Island Saturday night for the annual Ducati Party. McGregor firstrocketed to fame in the cult movie Trainspotting and has recently appearedin Black Hawk Down and Moulin Rouge with Nicole Kidman, another Ducati fan.
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