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Pre-Grand Prix Press Conference

Pre-Grand Prix Press Conference

Pre-Grand Prix Press Conference

Nicky Hayden

It's nice to be back. Racing in front of your home crowd is always special, and I'm looking forward to a strong Sunday. I want to win, and the points gap makes it more important than eve to do well here. I expect it to be much tougher than last year, the changes to the track make it look a bit different and safer, with the surface the main difference.

It's good for me and it's good for the American interest that I'm leading the Championship at the moment. I'm expecting an exciting race on Sunday, which should be fun for me and the fans.

Valentino Rossi

Last week was a great show, with all the top guys fighting hard. Last year was difficult, I tried my hardest, but I already had a big advantage in the Championship. I had no previous experience of Laguna Seca, but was the highest placing non-American here and, after following Nicky and Colin, am a lot more familiar with the lines.

This race is important for everybody, especially after a long time away before last year.

Colin Edwards

I've had a long history with Laguna. It's nowhere near my hometown but it is kind of my home race.

My season so far has been peaks and valleys…maybe just one peak. In Germany nothing worked, but my first experience of Germany was catching on fire so maybe it just isn't my lucky track!

I would like to see more American races, one maybe isn't enough to bring people to the sport. This year I don't think the American riders will have so much of an advantage, the changes mean we all start from scratch, especially the new bumpy surface.

Kenny Roberts Jr

I've been racing here for a long time, and the biggest improvement that I've seen here is regarding safety. This year I think Nicky leading the World Championship adds extra interest, as I'm sure that they want to see the U.S. do well and not Valentino winning by 30 seconds.

The crash in Germany was unfortunate. I tried to block pass Makoto Tamada but we braked way too soon and it was just a case of wrong place, wrong time.

John Hopkins

I've been waiting a long time for this race. The bike is a lot better than in 2005, and Bridgestone have been working the hardest I've ever seen this season. I guess I am coming to this race with a bit of a chip on my shoulder.

It's a great track, all my friends come here and everyone's pumped. Anything is possible, so we'll see. The track certainly seems bumpier, and maybe the Corkscrew might catch people out, because there isn't the bump to use as a braking guide anymore.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2006, RED BULL U.S. GRAND PRIX

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