what R you lookin' at?
looks like vacation next year.........
Another motorcycle race returning to Laguna Seca
Moto GP, cycling's equivalent to Formula One, will return
By DAVID COFFIN
MotoGP, the Formula One of motorcycle racing, is returning to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca next season after an absence of just over a decade.
The Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) and Dorna Sports, the Spanish-based company that holds the commercial and TV rights to the FIM MotoGP World Championships, have reached an agreement in principal to bring MotoGP to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for a five-year run.
Dorna will include the U.S. Grand Prix in the 2005 MotoGP pre-calendar to be presented to the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) for its approval.
"The support from fans and sponsors has been of great encouragement in this decision," said Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca General Manager Gill Campbell. "Corporate sponsorships are vital for the track improvements that will need to be made to satisfy FIM regulations.
"We feel that we have a great product with a tremendous amount of potential. We continue to produce world class events at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and that's what we're all about."
Wayne Rainey of Monterey, who won three consecutive world championships from 1990-1992, worked closely with Campbell and Dorna to bring MotoGP back to the Monterey Peninsula.
"We've been working on this for a few months," Rainey said. "I'm very pleased with the outcome. The timing is right now for MotoGP to come here; it will be a good event for Laguna Seca. I'm very excited that the event is going to happen."
Red Bull Energy Drink has partnered with Dorna and will be the title sponsor of the race at Laguna Seca in 2005. The event will be officially named the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix and is tentatively scheduled for July 8-10, 2005. Support races for the weekend will be determined in the near future.
"Dorna has always been looking into the possibility of coming back with MotoGP to the USA," added Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO Managing Director, Dorna Sports. "Now, thanks to the great cooperation among all the parties concerned and to the modifications being made at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, we are very happy that we have found the ideal opportunity to do so. The United States is an interesting market for MotoGP and certainly all the partners, manufacturers and sponsors involved will be very positive about returning there."
The 500cc Grand Prix World Championship (now MotoGP) raced at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca from 1988 to 1994. There are once again a number of Americans competing in MotoGP, including Kenny Roberts Jr., who won the 2000 championship, Nicky Hayden, Colin Edwards, John Hopkins and Kurtis Roberts. The list of past American champions is a who's who of motorcycle racing, including "King" Kenny Roberts (1978-1980), Wayne Rainey (1990-1992), Eddie Lawson (1984, '86, '88, '89), Freddie Spencer (1983, '85) and Kevin Schwantz (1993).