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Former Grand Prix stars test Super Karts

Former Grand Prix stars test Super Karts

Former Grand Prix stars test Super Karts

Former 500cc World Champions Wayne Rainey, Eddie Lawson and Kevin Schwantz were joined by with three-time U.S. Superbike champion Doug Chandler at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Thursday in preparation for the Superstars of Super Karts race, one of the support events at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix in July.

While Rainey and Lawson have raced Super Karts several times on the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course in the hills outside Monterey, it was the first time Schwantz and Chandler had driven the high-performance karts anywhere.

"I've been trying to get these guys (Schwantz and Chandler) into a Super Kart for a while," said Rainey, who lives in Monterey. "I think they were impressed."

"That was a lot more fun than riding a bike around here," said Schwantz. "I didn't much care for this track on a bike, but these Super Karts are a kick to drive here. I was smiling the whole way around the track."

"People look at these Super Karts and think they are cute little toys, but hey haul butt around here," according to Lawson, who set the Super Kart lap record at Laguna Seca in 2003 with an effort of 1'23.875, which represents an average speed of 100.864 mph and is quicker than Troy Bayliss' World Superbike lap record.

Chandler, who competed in 54 Grand Prix motorcycle races, enjoyed his first taste of Super Karts. "Driving a Super Kart around here is completely different than racing a motorcycle. These karts have so much more grip than a bike through the corners. It is going to take some getting used to, physically. But this is just a good opportunity for us to get together on the race track again."

The Superstars of Super Karts will feature several motorcycle racing champions competing against some of the top drivers in Super Kart racing, including European and Australian/New Zealand champions, in 250cc racing karts. Super Karts feature semi-enclosed bodywork and rear wings and reach speeds up to 140mph at Laguna Seca.

MotoGP, 2005

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