NUMBERS, PIXELS, AND AIRBAGS

Sunny Sunday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the big Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix. The MotoGP race is the feature, supported by three AMA Pro Racing events.The crowd counts are up. Friday pre-sales were up seven percent and the gate was up twenty-eight percent. Saturday’s attendance was the best since 2005.

Laguna Seca has a contract to run the MotoGP race through 2014. The other American MotoGP venue is Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which will run its event in August, and it has a year to year contract. Starting in 2013, the MotoGP will also run at the new American course, Circuit of The Americas.

Among those visiting/observing at Laguna Seca this weekend are LON BROMLEY, the Director of Safety for COTA, JOHN MAHER of the Austin American Statesman newspaper, and KEVIN SCHWANTZ, an investor and motorcycle consultant to the track.

GILL CAMPBELL, CEO/General Manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, was interviewed this weekend by Maher, and the interview and photo made the front page of the Sunday paper.

The MotoGP twenty-minute Warm-Up went well. Points Leader CASEY STONER/No.27 Repsol Honda Team was fastest, followed by Pole Sitter JORGE LORENZO/No.1 Yamaha Factory Racing, ANDREA DOVIZIOSO/No.4 Repsol Honda Team, BEN SPIES/No.11 Yamaha Factory Team and MARCO SIMONCELLI/No.58 San Carlo Honda Gresini.

Lorenzo is still sore after Friday’s high side flip in practice. His leg is stiff, but he can move on the bike and he’s smiling.

Lorenzo is probably one of the many MotoGP riders who wear air bags. One rider notably does not – BEN SPIES/No.11 Yamaha Factory Racing. He is one of the larger MotoGP riders, and said he has not been able to get comfortable with them yet, but a new set is being worked on for him. Motorcycle air bags have been in MotoGP for the past three years, but are not compulsory.

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