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Laguna Seca 05: Hayden completes dream weekend

Laguna Seca 05: Hayden completes dream weekend

Laguna Seca 05: Hayden completes dream weekend

Nicky Hayden joined a long list of American racing legends as he became a MotoGP winner for the first time in his career at the US Grand Prix. The 23 year old Honda rider led his home race from start to finish, bolting from pole position and leaving the rest of the 21-rider field trailing in his wake. With celebrities including Brad Pitt, Matt LeBlanc and Michael Jordan amongst the 57,932 sell-out crowd cheering him throughout 32 intense laps, Hayden established a two-second advantage over the chasing Valentino Rossi in the first part of the race and then held strong under late pressure from compatriot Colin Edwards to take a memorable first win.

With Edwards having snatched second place from Rossi with a daring move in the Corkscrew corner at the halfway stage of the race, the American fans were able to celebrate a memorable home one-two in the first MotoGP race here for over a decade. With Edwards also celebrating consecutive podium finishes for the first time in his Grand Prix career, Rossi was equally delighted with a tenth straight rostrum in third place, which extended his series lead to a massive 79 points over Marco Melandri, who crashed out with Alex Barros at the end of a combative first lap.

As well as losing ground on Rossi in the championship Melandri is also coming under pressure for second place from Max Biaggi, who took fourth place today to close the gap to just seven points. Sete Gibernau is also looming a further five points behind Biaggi after a spirited ride today, when he charged from thirteenth on the grid to take fifth place in his first visit to the Californian circuit.

MotoGP, 2006, RED BULL U.S. GRAND PRIX, Nicky Hayden

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