Having ridden at Laguna Seca a handful of times I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the Laguna Seca Raceway is an incredible racetrack mixed with challenging corners and is a ton of fun. Laguna Seca Raceway is located just 10 miles inland of the Monterey Peninsula in California and is just 2.238 miles in length with 7 left hand turns and 4 right hand turns including the infamous corkscrew at the top of the track at turn 8. The corkscrew is known world wide and is the only one out there to have combine a blind entry on the approach to the left hand portion which quickly chicanes into the right hand portion all while dropping over three stories in less than one second. It’s an amazing feeling when you hit the corkscrew just right, which rarely happens.
Turn 2 is a challenging double-apex turn and has been named the “Andretti Hairpin” in honor of the Formula 1 World Champion Mario Andretti. Turn 9 has been renamed “Rainey Curve” in honor of 500 cc Grand Prix motorcycle World Champion Wayne Rainey. The straight that runs between Turn 6 and Turn 7 has been renamed the “Rahal Straight” in honor of the four-time consecutive Champ Car race winner Bobby Rahal.
At the 9th circuit of MotoGP for 2010 there were 51,000 plus people in attendance. Roger Lee Hayden has stepped in as a replacement for Randy De Puniet. Lorenzo and Stoner dipped below the 1 min 21 barrier in qualifying setting the starting grid at Lorenzo, then Stoner, then Dovitzioso, then Pedrosa, then Spies, and Hayden on the first two rows of the grid.
From the start of the race Pedrosa gets a great start off the line and jumps in front with Stoner and Lorenzo close behind. Rossi and and Hayden passes Spies in the third lap. Shortly thereafter Lorenzo passes Stoner for the second position when Stoner went wide in Turn 4. Then Pedrosa with a monster lead crashed out in Turn 5 with 21 laps to go. A little further back Hayden is right on the tail of Rossi and Spies finds a hole and takes over the fifth position with 12 laps remaining.
Rossi, with only 7 weeks from his accident resulting in a broken tibia, puts the hammer down and pulls away from Spies and puts pressure on Dovitzioso for the last podium spot. Spies goes wide in turn 11 and lets Hayden through and a few laps later in turn 11 Rossi makes a move on Dovitzioso before the front stretch. Dovitzioso makes a bold move and almost takes the position back from Rossi in Turn 1 but Rossi stays on the throttle and makes it stick through the Andretti Hairpin.
Lorenzo ends up winning another MotoGP circuit and his first win at Laguna Seca. Stoner and Rossi finish off the podium with Dovitioso, Hayden, Spies, and Edwards following behind.
Another great MotoGP race. Next year I plan on taking Mackenzie so she can not only see the event live and in person, but also feel, hear, and smell those MotoGP beasts in person. Although the coverage is no where close to what you can get from televised or MotoGP.com website coverage, there really is no replacement for seeing the action up close and in person.