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Rossi wins at Laguna Seca… in MotoGP Legends kart race

Rossi wins at Laguna Seca… in MotoGP Legends kart race

SuperKart exhibition laps take competitive turn for Rossi, Lawson, Rainey and Roberts.

Thursday afternoon in the MotoGP paddock, and already Valentino Rossi had been proclaimed a race winner at Laguna Seca. The Italian will have to wait until Sunday for his real shot at glory, the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix itself, but a SuperKart ‘exhibition’ against three MotoGP Legends gave him an early taste of triumph.

Pitting reigning World Champion Rossi against past titlists Wayne Rainey, Eddie Lawson and Kenny Roberts Sr., the run-out began as an exhibition between the Yamaha riders past and present on the American track. However, things inevitably got competitive, with Rossi coming out on top in a one-lap sprint.

Rossi’s three friendly rivals all trailed the form rider of the MotoGP class by a considerable margin, but Rainey indicated that perhaps –as in the 2008 premier class race at Laguna Seca- the Fiat Yamaha man had been willing to play hard in order to cross the line first.

“We had a plan, and it didn’t quite work. We were all going to stay together, but suddenly we looked round and said ‘where did Valentino go?’” said the SuperKart regular, who has competed in the discipline in recent years.

“It was a lot of fun, getting to race against these guys, and against Valentino for the first time. I maybe wasn’t so fast today…fourth fastest,” added Lawson, the final rider to pass the flag waved by Grand Marshall Colin Edwards.

Roberts, who span out early on and had to bring the riders back to the pits in order to change a chain, joked that the result was little more than an altruistic gesture on his behalf.

“We’ve got to keep building Valentino’s confidence, building him up slowly to help him out. Now maybe he is ready to take the win on Sunday,” said the American.

MotoGP, 2009, RED BULL U.S. GRAND PRIX, Valentino Rossi, Kenny Roberts, Wayne Rainey, Eddie Lawson, Fiat Yamaha Team

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