With two eni FIM Superbike World Championship race weekend’s back-to-back Voltcom Crescent Suzuki travelled directly across the Atlantic from Portugal this week in preparation for the GEICO Motorcycle US round at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California.
The second appearance on the WSBK calendar for the Monterey circuit in recent years, 2013 saw the race action spilt across two days with Eugene Laverty taking a last-lap podium place in Saturday’s race one and a hard-fought race win for the Sunday outing. With this year’s action following the standard schedule of two races on Sunday 13th July, Laverty is keen to get back to a track he believes his Suzuki GSX-R1000 can perform well at and is hoping to retrace his podium steps ahead of the eight-week summer break.
While Laguna Seca may be another new circuit for Alex Lowes, it is one the Championship rookie has wanted to get to grips with for a long time. After coming close to a podium result last time out at Portimao, Lowes is looking forward to putting his Yoshimura-powered steed through its paces around such an iconic track and has high hopes come race day.
Constructed in 1957 at a cost of 1.5 million dollars of locally-sourced money, the 3,610m, 11-corner circuit has a long history with motor racing but the track’s major talking point is The Corkscrew. Falling just over 33 meters between turns 8 and 9, with an 18% drop at the sharp right-hander of 8a, the left-right formation provides breath-taking racing and remains a feature that all racers want to experience.
Friday 11th July sees Voltcom Crescent Suzuki take to the track for all three timed-for-qualifying free practice sessions at the American circuit, with the opening action commencing at 10:30hrs local time (18:30BST). Saturday’s Superpole qualifying takes place at 13:00hrs local time (21:00BST) with Sunday’s races at 11:00hrs (19:00BST) and 14:45hrs (22:45BST) respectively.
“Much like Portimao I’ve been looking forward to Laguna Seca because I know that the GSX-R should work well round there. The Suzuki showed very good potential last year so we will try our best and it would be nice to get some podiums before the long summer break. It’s been a difficult run lately but I will give it my all to try and get back up there!”
“I can’t wait to get on track at Laguna this weekend. It has always been a dream of mine to ride there and to experience the Corkscrew. It’s another new track for me but the circuit should suit our bike well so I am really looking forward to getting down to work on Friday morning and pushing to run with the front guys on Sunday.”