Dani Pedrosa at Mugello GEPA Pictures/Gold & Goose

MotoGP crosses the Atlantic this week and heads to California to participate in the 10th round of the world championship and the first race of the season in America.

After four races in five weeks, the Red Bull US Grand Prix, in Laguna Seca, is the last chance for the riders to put some major points on the board before the summer break and flying with Honda’s title-challenging team-mates, Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner, will be a new engine and chassis.

The Honda factory team have been busy since the last race at Mugello preparing the new parts that both Dani and Casey trialled at Monday's test, in Italy. For the next race at Laguna, Dani Pedrosa will have a new engine and chassis, and Casey will have the new engine in the standard chassis as both riders look to rein in championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, on the Yamaha.

"I'm really looking forward to racing in Laguna Seca,” said Pedrosa, currently 2nd in the world championship, with 166 points, following his second place at Mugello. “The atmosphere there is fantastic and it's a unique track, nothing like what we are used to in Europe. Laguna is very small, bumpy and technical. Honda has made a big effort to bring the new parts to Laguna so we'll have our standard bike but we'll also get the new engine and chassis we tested in Mugello and I hope we can take advantage of these improvements and have another good race."

Laguna Seca, the shortest track in the Championship, is still a technical and physically very demanding race, not only due to the high temperatures that can easily reach up to 30°C but also because of the number of laps – 32 in all.

nullGEPA Pictures/Gold & Goose

The 3,610km circuit features seven left-hand turns and four right-handers, including the descending ‘Corkscrew’ turn that may be the most famous sequence on the MotoGP calendar.

"I always look forward to going to Laguna, it's a circuit we've enjoyed quite good results at and the atmosphere there is fantastic," said Stoner, who won here last July en route to the title in 2011. "The circuit is a very tight and technical and it's definitely a positive that it goes around to the left, as we have less chatter on the left-hand side. However, some of the most critical corners are right-handers so it depends how we can get the bike set up before I can say if we'll be competitive. We've had a nice short break since Mugello and we're looking to improve on our results from the last two races. Honda have worked hard in Japan to provide us with the new engine and some parts from the test, hopefully we can have three dry sessions to get some work done and be competitive for Sunday, but we'll have to wait until we get on track".

Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner, second and third, respectively, after the first half of the Championship, have a good record at Laguna Seca.

Casey has taken the top step of the podium twice (in 2007 and 2011, the two seasons in which he was MotoGP World Champion) and Dani won in 2009 and crashed the year after while leading the race. Two more podium finishes for each (Casey: in 2008 and 2010; Dani: in 2006 and 2011) mean both Honda factory riders are confident that they will be fighting at the front of the field in California.

Want more?


    Add a comment

    * All fields required
    Only 2000 Characters are allowed to enter :
    Type the word on the left, then click "Post Comment":
    Motor Sports has a new home

    Article Details