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Laguna Seca thank backers

Laguna Seca thank backers

Laguna Seca thank backers

Gill Campbell, CEO/general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca expressed his satisfaction after the latest stage of safety improvements at the American track last week. Relocation of the Turn 9 bridge is the first of several modifications demanded by the FIM, who have also insisted on improved run-off areas, new curbing and widening a portion of the front straight.

The track will shut down between May 2 and June 15 to complete the improvements, which are being funded by Yamaha Motor Corporation USA, but Campbell described the most recent update as a "significant milestone on the road to bringing the MotoGP World Championship back to the USA."

The 46-metre bridge was lifted from its previous location and rotated clockwise 90 degrees. One end of the bridge was placed on a purpose-built "rear" trailer and the other end was placed on a separate trailer to transport the construction near to its new location.

Finally, two cranes hoisted and placed the bridge between its previous home at Turn 9 and the exit of Turn 8A (the right-hand portion of the left-right Corkscrew turn).

"I'd like to thank our track operations staff, supporting engineers and contractors, Monterey County Parks Dept., our friends at Dorna and Yamaha, and, of course, our fans for making today a reality," said Campbell.

"It will only be a matter of months before we'll get to see Valentino Rossi (reigning MotoGP World Champion) and our American riders Colin Edwards, Nicky Hayden, John Hopkins and Kenny Roberts Jr. plunging down the Corkscrew at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix."

Bob Starr, Corporate Communications Manager at Yamaha Motor Corporation, added: "We are thrilled to see the work beginning and this event coming closer to reality. The anticipation and enthusiasm from each and every employee at Yamaha, our customers, and American fans has been building since the announcement. Plus, with our 50th anniversary celebration beginning in just a few days, we've got one very exciting year ahead of us."

Support events for next season's Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, round nine of seventeen in the 2005 MotoGP World Championship, include the AMA U.S. Superbike Championship, BMW Motorrad Cup and Super Stars of Super Karts. Additional AMA support events will be announced in the near future.

MotoGP, 2005

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