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Local riders aiming to overturn Rossi at Laguna Seca

Local riders aiming to overturn Rossi at Laguna Seca

Local riders aiming to overturn Rossi at Laguna Seca

The MotoGP World Championship paddock returned to the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the first time in over a decade today as hundreds of fans poured into the circuit to witness the final preparations for this weekend's Red Bull US Grand Prix.

Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards will be benefiting from the sell-out support of over 59,000 fans for almost the whole weekend, with the only remaining entrance tickets now available for Friday's first day of free practice, which will start with a two-hour morning session at 10am.

Today the local heroes set their sights on overturning a run of form that has seen Rossi win six of the opening seven races this season as they look to follow in the footsteps of former home winners at Laguna Seca such as Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey and John Kocinski.

"Valentino has definitely raised the bar this season and it's up to us to step up and join him," commented Hayden. "Personally I feel I have been making progress at every round and I'm ready to take it to the next level. Obviously it would be perfect for me to do that at this racetrack because I have been dreaming of racing in a Grand Prix here since I was a kid. I came with my brother to watch the last GP here in 1994 and if I have as much fun on Sunday as I did that day then I'll be doing alright."

Edwards added that it would take "32 perfect laps" of the modified 3,602m circuit to beat his team-mate as he aims to take inspiration from Yamaha's 50th anniversary paint scheme, which features the traditional yellow, white and black retro design of Yamaha USA.

The American took victory here in his last appearance on a World Superbike but admitted things could be a little tougher this time around. "Troy Bayliss said that my Superpole lap record here will last about 15 minutes of tomorrow's first practice session and I reckon that's pretty accurate," smiled Edwards. "I'm really curious to see what it's like to ride a MotoGP bike here but above all I want to win, that's the only thing I am thinking of. If anybody else wants to win they have to beat me on my own turf."

MotoGP, 2005, RED BULL U.S. GRAND PRIX, Valentino Rossi

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