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The GP history of Laguna Seca

The GP history of Laguna Seca

Ahead of the Red Bull US Grand Prix motogp.com looks back on the history of GP racing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

After a ten year absence MotoGP returned to the United States and Laguna Seca in 2005 and has since hosted some superb racing. However, before that break in American GPs Laguna Seca had already featured six times on the World Championship calendar.

In fact, the first two Grand Prix events to be held in the USA were at Daytona in 1964 and 1965. Following those two events there was a 22 year gap before Grand Prix racing returned to the US, at Laguna in 1988.

This year’s event will be the eleventh time that a Grand Prix race has taken place at the Laguna Seca circuit and below is a brief summary of the previous ten World Championship visits:

1988 – This included races for the 500cc and 250cc classes with American riders finishing on the top of the podium in both races – Eddie Lawson (Yamaha) in the 500cc race and Jim Filice in the 250cc race riding as a replacement for Masahiro Shimizu on the factory Honda.

1989 – Once again American riders took the honours with Wayne Rainey (Yamaha) taking the victory in the 500cc race in front of Kevin Schwantz (Suzuki) and Eddie Lawson (Honda). John Kocinski (Yamaha) won the 250cc race as a wild-card entry.

1990 – Both Wayne Rainey and John Kocinski repeated their success of the previous year; both riders went on to take the respective world titles.

1991 – Wayne Rainey won the 500cc race for the third year in succession while in the 250cc race Luca Cadalora (Honda) became the first European rider to win a Grand Prix race at the Laguna Seca circuit.

1993 – The Grand Prix returned to Laguna Seca after a year’s absence. John Kocinski took the first ever dry weather Grand Prix victory for Cagiva in the 500cc race. Loris Capirossi (Honda) won the 250cc race and Dirk Raudies (Honda) won in the 125cc class which was run for the first time at the Laguna circuit.

1994 - Luca Cadalora (Yamaha) became the first non-American to win the premier-class Grand Prix at Laguna Seca. This was the last time that the event included 250cc and 125cc classes, won by Doriano Romboni and Takeshi Tsujimura respectively both riding Honda machinery.

2005 – After an absence of ten years the Grand Prix returned to America and the home riders dominated once again with Nicky Hayden taking his first Grand Prix victory in front of Colin Edwards. This was also the first victory in the premier-class for Honda at the Laguna Seca circuit.

2006 – Nicky Hayden repeated his victory of the previous year on his way to becoming the first American rider to win a Grand Prix world championship on a four-stroke machine.

2007 – The event was dominated by Casey Stoner who started from pole and led the race from start to finish. This was the first GP victory for both Ducati and Bridgestone tyres at the Laguna Seca circuit. Chris Vermeulen finished second - the first podium finish for the Suzuki four-stroke MotoGP machine at Laguna Seca.

2008 – Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) won for first time in America and made it three different winning manufacturers in three successive years.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2009, RED BULL U.S. GRAND PRIX

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