The weather is often a large part of the story at Laguna Seca. Usually it’s either heat, like the dangerously hot 2006 MotoGP weekend, or morning fog that delays the start of a day’s sessions, like nearly every time an event is held at this circuit.
But today the weather was a sudden thunderstorm that started just before sunrise. As the paddock came awake, lightning was flashing to the south and rain was drenching the circuit, washing the rubber off the asphalt and soaking the Media Center, to name only a couple of moisture-related casualties.
Out came the rain tires for the morning warm-up, and away they went on a track that was drying but still wet. But by the time Race 1 arrived, it was back to slicks for two dry races.
It’s great to be back on Asphalt & Rubber again, sitting next to Jensen in a media center at a race track, preparing photos for the A&R readers.
It’s great to be back at a World Superbike race as well, where the atmosphere is more relaxed than MotoGP. The bikes are just as shiny, and apparently you can just mosey down to your local dealer and buy one!
The bike above rolled right off the show room floor, I’m told. It would look great in my garage.
There’s also a jovial family atmosphere. Here two generations of Haslam watch Superpole 1, which is more amusing to some than to others.
Chaz Davies took the honors in Superpole 2 on a day that featured two Ducatis at the top of the time sheet.
Alex Lowes, twin brother to Sam Lowes, was perhaps the quickest learner of The Corkscrew today…some other riders are going to have a think on it.
Chaz Davies was looking fast out there on the Ducati Panigale R. The red bike and red leathers really pop on the track too.
Rizmayer saved this off-road excursion. I believe the on-track announcers called it an “agricultural endevour” — I just liked the way he made the pebbles go fly. The Corkscrew crowd applauded his efforts, as well.
Shortly after qualifying for the recent German Grand Prix at Sachsenring, Asphalt & Rubber photographer Tony Goldsmith sat down with Aspar MotoGP Team rider and class rookie Eugene Laverty, to get some insight into how a MotoGP rider prepares for a race.
On race day I also had the opportunity to photograph Eugene in the build up to the race, talk to him about his routine, and discuss the special tribute helmet he was wearing for the late Dr. John Hinds.
Marc Marquez completed a perfect weekend with a comfortable win, his 6th consecutive victory at the Sachsenring circuit.
The start of the race, and Dani Pedrosa grabbed the advantage going into Turn 1.
Valentino Rossi didn’t win the race, but he did finish ahead of his teammate and championship rival Jorge Lorenzo to extend his lead to 13 points.
Marc Marquez smashed his own Sachsenring lap record by 0.601 seconds, on his way to pole position for tomorrow’s German Grand Prix.
Jorge Lorenzo also went under the old lap record, but had to settle for 3rd on the grid for tomorrow’s race.
The intense eyes of Cal Crutchlow, who will start from 10th.
Marc Marquez was back down to business, setting the quickest time in both sessions on Day One at Sachsenring.
You could probably write a book about Valentino Rossi’s “Routine” — he has that many. First up, he always closes his visor with both hands as a walks to his bike from the pit box.
Bradley Smith was only 0.119 seconds behind Marc Marquez at the end of FP2.
Valentino Rossi celebrates his first victory from pole position since San Marino in 2009.
Jorge Lorenzo got a great start from 8th on the grid, but never looked liked troubling Rossi and Marquez at the front.
Marc Marquez felt aggrieved not to be credited with the win after the last lap move into the final chicane, which pushed Valentino Rossi wide and across the gravel trap.
Valentino Rossi broke the outright lap record on his way to pole for tomorrow’s Dutch TT at Assen.
Aleix Espargaro backed up his pole in Catalunya with another front row start.
Marc Marquez claimed the final spot on the front row.