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Jul 15, 2013

MotoGP World Championship Leader Marquez Has Never Raced At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Before

FIM MotoGP World Championship: Marc Marquez (93).
With the German Grand Prix barely over, the MotoGP™ grid heads across the pond to contest the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix in Laguna Seca with the championship tightly bunched and a festival of racing awaiting at the infamous track.

Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez comes fresh off the back of his second MotoGP™ win since stepping up to the premier-class, which saw him take the lead in the championship from his teammate Dani Pedrosa by two points. However, as he hasn’t been at the track professionally due to the support classes not running there, this will be his first time racing at the track – though he has done some laps previously on a road bike.

Whether his teammate will be fit after his huge highside in Germany, during which he partly fractured his left collarbone and suffered concussion, remains to be seen. Participation of Yamaha Factory Racing’s injured Jorge Lorenzo is also a closely watched topic, with the Yamaha rider publicly announcing he will not take part - though with his main rival Pedrosa also bruised, there remains the chance the Mallorcan will try to salvage some points if he can, with his crew already confirmed to be travelling to the race.

Neither rider would however have it easy, as Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow is in the form of his life, having stepped onto the podium for the fourth time this year last weekend after a brave ride following some nasty scrapes and bruises from crashes during the weekend. He managed to beat his Yamaha factory rival Valentino Rossi, who will be looking for an improvement in Laguna Seca, saying he had expected more from his outing at the Sachsenring.

LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, who led for a significant part in his home race last time out, can head to the US with a sense of optimism after matching his best result of fourth. His Honda satellite counterpart in the form of GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista is hoping for an improvement in bike set-up, despite finishing a credible fifth in the last race. The Ducati Team duo of Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso unfortunately had a difficult weekend once more in Germany, and particularly local boy Hayden will aim for a significantly better outing in front of his home fans.

For the Pramac Racing Team it was an equally tough weekend with Andrea Iannone sitting out the race through injury – though the team and him will hope that he is declared fit to race in California. Substituting the still-injured Ben Spies is NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Moto2™ rider Alex de Angelis, who has had previous stints in MotoGP™. All the Ducati’s will no doubt have their hands full with the on-song Aleix Espargaro, who continues to amaze fans on his Power Electronics Aspar ART machine.

Rounding out the grid will be his teammate Randy de Puniet, NGM Mobile Forward Racing duo Claudio Corti and Colin Edwards, Avintia Blusens’ Hiroshi Aoyama and Hector Barbera, Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham, PBM teammates Yonny Hernandez and Michael Laverty, Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci and Lukas Pesek, as well as Gresini’s Bryan Staring. One wildcard will take part in the shape of Attack Performance Racing’s Blake Young, who previously did well in Austin on his Kawasaki-powered in-house APR machine.