Say Goodbye to MotoGP Racing at Laguna Seca

09/29/2013 @ 6:09 pm, by Jensen Beeler46 COMMENTS


Ever since Indianapolis Motor Speedway re-signed to host the MotoGP Championship, the writing has been on the wall for GP racing at Laguna Seca. The tiny coastal track in California is a favorite amongst the riders, mostly for how different it is compared to the computer-designed Grand Prix circuits in Europe, but that distinction has also always been the Achilles heel of Laguna Seca.

While the circuit provides fans with the unique ability to get close to the racers in the paddock, as well as great general admission vantage points for watching the racing action on the track, Laguna Seca is only able to do so because of its low attendance figures, and generally campy approach to hosting motorcycle racing.

Looking for a more polished GP experience, one which would be more consistent with how MotoGP operates in Europe and other venues, Dorna has always viewed Laguna Seca as the black sheep of GP racing circuits. Looking now to push MotoGP more into developing regions, Dorna’s current holding of three American GP rounds seems to make less sense, and thus something has to give.

With drafts of the 2014 MotoGP Championship calendar circulating at the Aragon GP, and with World Superbike meeting this weekend in Laguna Seca, all but the official announcement itself has made its way through the two camps. As such, multiple confidential sources have reported to Asphalt & Rubber that MotoGP will not return to Laguna Seca, despite the track’s contract with Dorna for next season.

Located in a sleepy beach town that would rather save the sea otters than support its racing tradition, the Red Bull US GP has always been a bit unwelcomed when MotoGP showed up in Monterey. Fans are faced with legions of CHP officers, who sit atop each overpass waiting for unsuspecting motorists to speed by, while nearby hotels raise their nightly rates to ludicrous levels.

Though the track itself has always been a highlight, Laguna Seca’s more modest facilities have prevented the circuit from hosting the typical GP support classes, with not enough paddock space available for the usual MotoGP circus, let alone the AMA Pro Racing camp.

Rumors even circulate about Laguna Seca’s FIM homologation, with the list of alleged non-compliance issues ranging from the track’s runoff  to its physical lap distance.

Now with three races in the United States, and with two other circuits who are willing to put on the grand show that Dorna envisions for Grand Prix motorcycle racing, the quaintness of Laguna Seca is giving way to reality: the US GP will be omitted from the 2014 MotoGP Championship calendar when it is made public later this week.

The big question remaining will be whether Laguna Seca can spin straw into gold with the World Superbike Championship, as the track has two more years of hosting WSBK contracted with Dorna.

Debuting World Superbike this weekend with noticeably vacant grandstands, Laguna Seca’s official three-day attendance was 41,175 which would be a little more than a third of what the track reported for MotoGP back in July (118,696 thru the gate). However, anyone in attendance at the track would estimate the actual fan presence as being much lower.

Theories range as to why such a poor attendance rate occurred this weekend for WSBK, with the most optimistic culprit in fact being the MotoGP race from three months earlier.

With cash-strapped die-hard fans facing an “either/or” dilemma in regards to the expensive MotoGP and WSBK weekends, the idea is that would-be track attendees opted to spend their money on the more prestigious event, the MotoGP race.

More pessimistic theories include the lack of an American presence in the World Superbike Championship, along with WSBK’s TV coverage being moved from SPEED to BeIN Sports TV, as being reasons for American motorcycle race fans to lose interest in World Superbikes.

Source: Bothan Spies; Photo: © 2013 Daniel Lo / Corner Speed Photo – All Rights Reserved

  • JW

    Did the MOTOGP there in 2005. The traffic getting in and out was the worst I have ever seen in all the years I have been going to all manner of big crowd events. I wrote to them about my experience, they never replied back. I never went again..

  • AntiHero

    Laguna has two things going for it–the track itself and it’s location. However, the city of Monterey (which owns the the land or something or other) has invested almost nothing in the track facilities. Most of the bridges and buildings are of third world construction quality (if that) and traffic in and out is the stuff of nightmares.

    Add to that hotel-room price-gouging and a police force that sees attendees as a source of quick and easy revenue, and it’s no surprise that so few people show up.

  • CharlieDog

    After going to the USGP’s from ’88 thru ’93, I went to the 1st MotoGP in ’05 and was amazed at how poorly the place was managed. Ninety minutes to get from the back gate to the cycle parking lot, being detoured down into a field to have my ticket scanned, coming back to the bike after the races ended and finding a layer of dust so heavy I could not tell the difference btw chrome and body work, three hours to get out of the track, running out of event t-shirts at noon Saturday, the place could barely handle a national event, much less a world class event. After my experience I vowed to never go back, even if I was paid.

  • Rhett

    We have been going to GP and WSBK for over 13 years on and off, we have missed out on the last 3-4 years due to the price gouging, traffic, and less than desirable conditions in Montery and the track itself. I’m sad there will be no more MotoGP in CA, however if you wanted to pick the top two items we haven’t gone back for, it’s the triple priced rooms and the tickets for 5 mph over from CHP. Maybe they can wake up now and have their little quiet town all to themselves again.

  • Carlos

    Ok so everyone is Boo-hooing about the traffic,the CHP,the hotels,the selling out of “shirts”.
    Now you all have your wish. Have fun trekking cross country to a track built for cars,not bikes on a lousy surface responsible for crashes of Casey,Nicky,et all.
    If you come to Laguna to complain about the bathrooms,the dust,and the traffic-stay away,if you’re scared of the CHP,slow down. If hotels are too expensive,stay home. Laguna Seca owns Indy and always will.

  • Mike

    Would have rather seen Indy axed & Laguna kept

    Laguna always provides some good racing

  • Gordo

    3 day total of 41K for a WSB race? That’s 1 day for AMA at Road America. Bring WSB or MotoGP to Road America and see some real action. Four mile track, absolute beautiful venue.

  • Tammy Hartnett

    Dorna really shows how the almighty $ is involved. Laguna Seca is by far a better track. Indy is pathetic….

  • socaldave

    I visited Lagna Seca in ’03-’04 for WSBK and ’05 for MotoGP. Went to Laguna for WSBK on Saturday only and enjoyed the experience again… No price hike for the hotel, only CHP I saw was on the Fan Lap, pre-purchased T-shirt on line and no lines at porti-poti’s! Brought a co-worker who NEVER been to a race that rides sport bikes and because of the race he wants to do track days/club race AND we test rode the new Yamaha triple! I had a blast and plan to support the WSBK by attending the next two years hopefully… Although crowds is what brings the money I enjoyed the ability to actually enjoy the event instead of just get though it. I look forward to next year!

  • jkobflys

    I’ve been riding up to the MotoGp events since its comming back to the track, I have watched as the event has gone downhill as far as the organizing and promoting the event at hand.
    The only thing keeping us comming back is the track, the great racing, the paddock access and the epic 500 mile ride thru some of the best roads this side of the country. These are things that neither COTA and specialy indy cant even get close on. COTA. Is a great track, great venue and exactly what Dorna wants. But Indy over Laguna?
    But after today and this weekend I dont see why Dorna would keep Laguna, tje WSBK event was handled very poorly in every way, there were no real WSBK support racing instead the fill. The weekend with AMA pro go pro DMG Yamaha monster Daytona sport geico yadda yadda yadda suprbike and split the SBK into 2 days without even thinking of the lighting conditions caused by the sunlight at that particular time. The lack of publicity even in the track at least put up some flags on the grandstands but there was nothing indicating of the event on site. There were more left over MotoGp merchandise that of WSBK.
    The list goes on and on….

    At least we can make the ride any other weekend, with such crappy California weather we have most of the year…

  • SCBonneville

    >.Laguna Seca owns Indy and always will.<

    Gee Carlos… pretty bold statement… Have you ever been to Indy for the event or are you one of the very few that can just get the "sense of the experience" without actually going?

    How about let's take a look at just how Laguna Seca "owns" Indy… shall we…

    1) Let's start with comparing the "hospitality" aspect of each city/area

    The city of Indianapolis and the Speedway (IMS, if you will) actually want and welcome you there… It's called "hospitality"… the police are fairly laid back. Hotel rooms plentiful (this year was a bit tougher than past years, with the state fair and Gen. Con. in town the same weekend). I got a room at a Hilton for a 100 bucks a night… Lots of peripheral activities both at the track and in the city. The Indy Mile runs the same weekend too… A wide variety of restaurants that will suit any budget… Oh, and the city & IMS have hosted all sorts of events over a long period of time… and they are really good at it too…

    Laguna Seca (LS, if you will)… hmmm… well, from reading the article and previous posts… it's pretty obvious that the "hospitality" in the area is a bit lacking…

    I'd say this round goes to Indy fairly easily…

    2) Attendance…

    This is an easy one… Indy, hands down….

    3) Let's compare the "infrastructure" of each track…

    IMS, has easy access and egress. Lots of parking (free for motorcycles). Plenty of garage/paddock areas for all the race teams. IMS doesn't rip you off on concessions pricing and the rest rooms are clean and plentiful. Plenty of jumbo-trons for keeping tabs of all the action around the track. And IMS has committed to investing 100 MILLION dollars to facility upgrades… Oh, their event staff folks are plentiful and are there to help you out in any way possible…

    LS… well, again, citing the article… poor access/egress to the track. Insufficient garage/paddock areas (they can't even accommodate Moto 2 & 3 teams). As I have never been to LS, I can't comment on the concessions and restrooms aspect. But I do believe that I recall seeing port-a-lets in service from crowd shots on TV… correct me if I'm wrong here…

    Looks like another "win" for IMS from where I'm sitting…

    4) The Track…

    IMS, yes, we all know that Indy is a convoluted circuit… I give you that…. One of the main upgrades IMS is doing is a complete re-working of the infield portion of the track. They already host the MotoGP & American Le Mans Series races… and are looking to add an Indy Car road race. So I'm sure the second go round will be a vast improvement… especially in consistency of racing surface. Still, it will not be a purpose built road racing facility and will always be a compromise…

    LS… yes, it's a purpose built road racing facility… and that gives it an edge, right off the bat… But with the (as the article states) FIM casting a critical eye on the run off areas and the overall safety aspect of the track, along with its short length… how big of an edge does it really have, especially in light of Indy doing upgrades while LS sits and does nothing…?

    LS, gets the nod on this one… mainly because it's a purpose built road racing facility… not because of anything else…

    So now… let's add up all the "points" here…

    Hmmm…. from where I'm sitting, taking a look at the whole MotoGP experience, for the fan and the racers/race teams, it looks like Indy pretty much waxes LS on every level with the exception of being a purpose built road racing facility…

    So, would you please explain to me, how "Laguna Seca owns Indy and always will" rather than just spouting off some sort of drivel.. Thank you in advance!

  • shg

    Safety concerns? Maybe. The top of the screw is, admittedly, like flying a fighter jet, blindfolded, into a canyon. You clinch your cheeks, get on the brakes and pray. But I’ve seen few significant crashes there vs. say… the high side happy Saschenring? Laguna is a highly technical track, and consistently a rider and fan favorite, But, having gone to Laguna the last 4 years, I can totally confirm the traffic, the cops and the price gouging can be pretty rough if not planned for. The ammenities are run down and it’s dusty, hot and a pain to get in and out of. However, I would go again in a heartbeat!! It’s really a shame that more was not invested in making it a true, world class venue. I’m sure Monterey and Laguna Seca will surely be second guessing all the years of penny pinching come next July when the vacancy signs are out and the restaurants are empty.

  • Allen

    Since the my first visit to Laguna in 1982, I saw the popularity of the motorcycle racing grow and grow and then when the quality of the venue started to decline and the motels went from $80.00 a night to $300.00 per night… three night minimum. Cops everywhere. Traffic sucked, but damn, its the GP and I’m going. The annual ride up and back on Highway 1 was icing on the cake. great food in Monterrey, wow.
    Now, I’m afraid I will bypass the peninsula and spend my money somewhere else. Sad


  • Rider

    Wow, I thought for sure Indy would be axed. Obviously this is political or cost related, most riders hate indy and it produces poor racing.

  • William

    I’ve have been to the last 24 years straight Laguna Seca races (GP. SBK, Moto GP and SBK again) and went to Indy last year. Both from parking/sitting in the dirt to the Premier Pit row suites.
    If you like the track experience I would say Indy might have a slight advantage.
    But the experience mimics the location. Sportbikes in Indy, are about riding in a straight line, corners mean nothing, as the state of Indiana is as flat as a board. Compare to California, which is the home of the sportbike and has the roads that are nirvana for those machines, that span the highest and the lowest elevation of all the 48 states.
    If you like racing, Laguna Seca… Is hands down the best.
    A flat as a board track with three different tract surfaces, will never match the elevations changes of a topography following organic track.
    I will miss Moto GP but with now just once event a year, I hope that SBK becomes the event it once was just before the reappearance of Moto GP.

  • TexusTim

    @ sc bony..are you kidding me ? your disertation reminds me of some kid trying to convince someone he knows how to spell when he doesnt…ok so your from the east coast i guess and only see things from your slanted viewpoint.
    Indy is the worst motogp track on the venue..THE RIDERS HATE IT !!! most people will say that the race is far better at laguna than indy..only narrow minded people who feel the need to give us a twenty paragraph diertation on how you think you know so much about all this believe indy to be a notorycycle race track…IT IS NOT IT’S MADE FOR CARS, the track sucks its that simple..they pay a ton to dorna to keep them coming back to that lame ass poor excuse of a race track…now I dont care if you like it or not you invited this with you post…o go ahead and put me down over typos thats what “they” allways do when confronted with a disagreement.

  • Been to Laguna every year since 2000 for WSBK , Motogp and the track is AWESOME lots of great racing. That being said the cops, bad track management(held up in 2009 for 2 hrs cause a traffic Marshall thought we stepped on the double yellow) and crazy hotel prices have gotten kind of old. Did Indy in 2010 was fun but not worth the 5 hour flight and the track is ok. Nothing special but I’m sure Indy can sit more spectators in one day than Laguna can for the whole weekend.

  • Jess

    I’m a local on the Monterey peninsula and live about 5 minutes away from the track. From my perspective there are two main problems with Laguna Seca as the venue for the MotoGP. First, they usually hold the race the same weekend as the Salinas Rodeo. This is a large local event that does attract out of towners and is very popular. The main highway accesses both of these events and traffic is inevitable. There are two ways in and out and that’s it. The enormous influx of people causes hotel room shortages and therefore hikes up the prices. I have met people that stayed over an hour away just because they couldn’t find a room. Secondly, they don’t advertise to the locals at all. We don’t have much of a bike culture here and we could if the promoters would promote their events. I don’t usually know that an event is taking place unless I drive past the track. Of course our peninsula likes the money in tax and hospitality revenue, but we host many concerts and events with thousands of people in attendance. Our tourism will still thrive.

  • BBQdog

    Will miss Laguna Seca and the corkscrew. But I am sure the organisation can add another spanish circuit to the calender. Pffff …..

  • Jimbo

    @SCBonneville –

    I will miss LS purely for the excitement of watching the track but damn you make a good argument!
    If I ever get into trouble can you be my lawyer!!!

    Really want to visit Indy now!

  • Sb955i

    Been to Mugello, Indy, Laguna. Had the best time in Laguna and Monterey. Beautiful track, way more accessible, better traffic ( try Mugello for traffic!). Will really really miss it, a real shame. Hate where racing is going, looking through wire fences, getting herded through endless barriers, to sit miles from the action, with ‘VIP’ access at a premium….. Why bother.. I’d take an old track any day over a new one. With respect of course to rider safety.

  • oh, you lazy Americans… so what if you need 2hrs to get outta parking? Here in Europe we cherish different things – great racing on cool tracks (which are dissapearing daily). What would we give for Laguna Seca? Thanks to freakin’ Dorna there’s only four big tracks left – Laguna, Mugello , Phillip Island and Assen, and bunch of spanish go-kart tracks and Tilkedroms. Old Hockenheim is dead, Spa also… such a shame Lagauna has to go also. Cancel INdy GP and no one will shed a tear – that’s an insult for moto-racing. Greetings from EU!

  • Jimbo

    Silverstone is pretty large

    @Sb955i – I agree. I dislike silverstone for the razor wire fences between the fans and the track, and the high-vis-jacket retards who kettle all the fans and the cars/bikes

  • JS

    Good to read this news. The fact that Laguna never allowed the 125 and 250’s to compete there and now Moto2 and 3 it never deserved to host MotoGP, add to that the WSBK races had to be split over two days all because of national?! championships taking precedence over a World championship – good riddance.

  • LanceBoyles

    Such a shame to lose such an iconic track from the calendar. Not sure why people complain so much about the traffic – I took a 2-hour nap in my car in the parking lot at Assen a few years ago while waiting for the traffic to die down(woke up feeling refreshed for the drive home, so what’s the problem?). Every other time I’ve gone on the bike, and it still takes an hour to get out to the highway.

    It took an hour or more each of the five times I’ve been to Mugello too.

    Sachsenring doesn’t even have decent parking and the place turns into a mud pit if it rains. Last time it took me almost 2 hours to park and walk to the track through some farmer’s field.

    Jerez was fairly easy to get out of but that is only because they opened both sides of the highway (similar to a hurricane evacuation). I would have hated to be there in a car because it was still jammed.

    Catalunya was probably the easiest to get out of after the race but it was still probably 45 minutes. Fortunately I was going toward the mountains and not toward Barcelona.

    So it’s a labor of love – you put up with some minor inconvenience to be able to watch some world-class racing.

    I wonder what the line for the bridge to Phillip Island looks like?

  • Morro Lou

    I see a lot of whining about the prices of hotels, the prolific amount of CHP, and other sniveling. Yet, I didn’t see anything about the initial price of the damn ticket(s) to get into the races. I lived very nearby for many years, enjoyed all kinds of racing there, ate dust, drove/rode sanely so as not to raise the ire of the local badges, and generally enjoyed every trip to the track. Moved away, and STILL went there, but after a couple years of having to fork out so much cash to watch, even if it was just a Sunday ticket, I thought this was a really crappy thing to do to all the fans, so I haven’t returned.

    I still think Laguna’s a great track to watch any kind of racing, but MotoGP prices ran me off. I guess now some people from Europe will tell me what a great deal the prices are here in the US, like our gas prices….rant away!!

  • SCBonneville

    TexusTim… thank you so much for confirming my faith that some one will always resort to assumptions about me (wrong as they may be) and name calling (“only narrow minded people who feel the need to give us a twenty paragraph diertation on how you think you know so much about all this believe indy to be a notorycycle race track”) when responding to opinion that they may not share…

    My response to Carlos was from a purely “Laguna Secs owns Indy” standpoint… and I am looking at it from the total experience for the fan and not just the race course itself…

    For your educational pleasure, a little background on me… I am a native born Californian, lived there twenty eight years. I have traveled across the state extensively and know it pretty well, though that was many years back. I am well versed with the Monterrey Bay area as I spent quite a bit of time in the Santa Cruz area in the past. Although I have not been inside LS, I know exactly where it is located and have been passed by it many times. As for my “event’s background, I have attend races, both professional and amateur, in a number of states and locations.

    So, with that out of they way, let’s again look at why Indy won out over LS in the “one of theses events gets chopped” competition… and why the “better track” didn’t win out…

    California has 30+ million residents and is, by many on this forum, the “center of the US sport bike universe”… And yet they draw the least of the three US MotoGP events. And that number (evidently) continues to fall… So I guess us “narrow minded” flat landers, that don’t know anything about motorcycle racing, actually show up and support the event better than you “west coast motorcycling gods” do… Go figure…

    LS has well documented short comings in their track infrastructure… Just what are they doing to address and improve those problem areas? IMS has committed 100 MILLION dollars to improving their facility… As for the riders HATING IMS… and yes, their displeasure is duly noted, it is mostly centered on the problem of having three different track surfaces to contend with. I also have (many times) recognized that IMS is NOT an ideal road racing venue and it will always be at a disadvantage when compared to a purpose built road racing facility. With IMS recognizing these problems/shortcomings and making a huge monetary commitment, I would expect to see a big improvement.

    So, if you’re DORNA and looking to cut one US event, who goes on the chopping block? The city/facility that has the experience and infrastructure (airport/hotels/restaurants/highways/track garages/etc.) to run professional events, is making a major investment to improve their short comings, actually wants the event and the fans there and treats them that way. Or do you choose the facility that is not doing anything to up their game? MotoGP is a business… and the “chop” is purely a business based decision… Indy fought for their event… what did LS and their surrounding communities do?

    Personally, I would have liked to see the US keep all three events. The country is large enough (from a population and geographic stand point) to merit hosting three events… We just haven’t done enough (attendance, TV viewership and facilities wise) to do that. So something had to give.

    Again, thank you for your kind, thoughtful and open minded response to the points that I previously made about the good job that Indy/IMS does in hosting an event… I hope that you will note that I never said one critical word on how LS and the surrounding communities run their event… Just a thought here, maybe you should actually try attending the Indy event before you belittle it or pass judgment on another persons opinion of it.

  • Jimbo

    @SCBonneville – if you arent a lawyer you should be one. I asume you are a Triumph rider based on your user name and as an Englishman thanks for being the type of rider who buys our bikes (i am a street triple owner)

    Too often these forums turn into slagging matches of internet hard men throwing insults at eachother. I like points of discussion that are both well argued, respectful and able to put themselves from other peoples view point.

    On the point of this discussion. LS not safe enough. Dont cut it – fix it its one of the best races. I dont understand what slagging off other circuits will do? If you shout at indy enough will that make LS safer? I dont think so.
    Improve the run off and the saftey and move back. As for the parking – tough – if you love the sport deal with it. I have been stuck in fields for hours trying to leave silverstone and mugello.

    As for VIP areas – there is too much of that at the moment. But i dont want to get into that for fear of being mis understood as a communist!

  • AK

    no douth LS is a great track and one of the best in US for motorcycle racing. But decisions like that not made over how good the track is, riders like it or not etc…etc… Dorna is a business after-all. They need money and crowd at the track to make it work.

    I am from Indy so it works best for me. Outside track Indy has way more to offer then COTA and LS.

  • sideswipeasaurus

    Well to me the solution is simple. Cut that big chuck of dirt out of the California coast and drop it onto the infield area of Indy. It would fit. Best of both worlds! You get one of the most unique and best loved circuits inside a facility and city that enthusiastically supports racing. Monterrey can still have their garlic festivals and hoity toity golf tournaments.

  • SCBonneville

    Hey Jimbo, thanks for the kind words.. except the “lawyer’ bit (what do you call twenty lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A good start!)… =;-)

    And yes, I do own a new (Hinkley) Bonnie. The SC portion of the handle is from my location, South Carolina. I’m sure that with that info out in the open, I will be labeled as an “inbred, cousin marrying, redneck hillbilly moonshiner” very shortly…

    As far as “forum discussions” go, it is too bad that some people feel a need to resort to “slagging off” others with insults, rather than educated or knowledgeable view points… Indy is an easy target… and I agree and have acknowledged its short comings, track wise, many times… But to put it down, as an event or to run down its attendees because of where the event is located or where the attendees are from, is just ignorance on parade… I hear lots of “Indy sucks” comments on this forum… But I don’t recall ever hearing someone, who has actually attended it, say anything negative about their experiences while there… To the contrary, Indy is usually held up as the example of how an event should be run… I remember reading reviews of folks that have attended both Austin and Indy. And if I remember correctly, almost to a man, Austin was pinged for how they were treated and Indy held up as an example of how it should be done…

    In my eyes, the Indy MotoGP event is a bargain at $75 for a three day general admission pass (I doubt that many folks know that DORNA sets the ticket prices, so that one track can’t under sell another. Manly pointed at the Euro tracks that are in close proximity to each other.) and that combined with the hospitality aspect that Indy/IMS puts forth, has kept me going back. I had no intentions of going to more than the 2009 event (a deal I made with a buddy of mine), knowing that it would suck… Indy? really? MotoGP at IMS? No way that works… Funny thing… from a fans standpoint, it does… It is, in my opinion, by far, the best run, most welcoming, profession racing event that I have ever attended. I went back this year because I wanted to attend it one last time. Surely it was going to get the axe, what with the Austin/COTA event coming on board and LS’s acknowledged superior track layout… I was (pleasantly) shocked when I heard that it was on for 2014 and that they (IMS) were going after a contract extension along with the track upgrade… So, I’ve already booked my room for 2014… go figure…

  • jim

    That’s California for you: disintegrating, high costs, low service, incapable of competing, but the weather’s great.

  • SCBonneville

    >Well to me the solution is simple. Cut that big chuck of dirt out of the California coast and drop it onto the infield area of Indy. It would fit. Best of both worlds! You get one of the most unique and best loved circuits inside a facility and city that enthusiastically supports racing. Monterrey can still have their garlic festivals and hoity toity golf tournaments.<

    (LOL) CLASSIC!! Such an elegant and well thought out solution!!

    Well done sideswipeasaurus!! =8-)

  • Jimbo

    @SCBonneville – lovely bike! Lawyer comments were of course meant as a complement to your litigation for Indy, which changed my view!
    The history of the whole track must just add to the spectacle. I have only ever been to Silverstone in England and once to Mugello in Italy. I must say if you come to Europe and want to visit one of those two choose the latter. Silverstone, while a fantastic racing track for riders is bloody awful for the spectators. Vast open spaces, huge fences between the track and the stands. Rip off entry prices even for non reserved standing and howling winds that charge up a valley and make the whole place freezing cold. It is also completly flat so you can only see one bit of track at a time.
    Mugello on the other hand was fantastic. Mad as you like, great atmosphere, all the fans ran on the track after the race , some brought their motorcycles and were doing burnouts and stunts. It was epic. I like tracks with soul! (and bikes for that matter)

  • SteveM

    My wife and I travelled thousands of miles to watch the Laguna MotoGP last year and returned to watch the Superbikes this year. We thought both events were far superior to Philip Island, which while being a great track, has poor weather (sick of traipsing through mud) , poor facilities, is expensive, the officials are unfriendly and if you think California cops are revenue gatherers don’t go to Victoria. We vowed not to go to the Oz GP again. We loved Monterey as a destination and enjoyed both events at LS. Some feedback on the WSBK event; we would have liked to see the supersport here too, but accept that the AMA is worth watching as well, however the races should have been held closer to the WSBK races – over 2 hours before or after the main races is too long to fill in and subsequently we missed the AMA races. We would definitely return to LS, however as a destination Indy does not appeal and the track is boring. Indy should be dropped and LS should remain in our opinion.

  • SP

    The real problem lies with the residents local to Laguna Seca. Nevermind that the entire state of California has been overrun with socialists, but the residents close to Laguna would be happier if the track never existed in the first place. That’s what happens when selfish people move into an area that hosts something they don’t like. Don’t believe me? Research what a trackday rider has to deal with (noise restrictions) when doing a track day. The residents there hate motorsports. They must, with how much hassle an event must put up with. While California has the weather and the roads perfect for any motorsports lover, the people that have moved in from out of state over the last 20 years have made this state unsavory at best. Again, don’t believe me? Then explain to me the mass exodus of businesses that have found the political climate to be unsatisfactory from a business point of view.

  • Ian

    Very sad to see that Laguna is probably off the 2014 calendar. Lots of good memories over the last 8 years.

    The sad fact is motorcycling and the motorcycle industry are hurting in the US, while other markets are making their presence felt. The sponsor money isn’t there, the AMA is a mess, attendance and ratings are down, the American talent pipeline is empty (a couple prospects…maybe), etc.

    Complaining about Laguna’s drawbacks is a waste. I’ve been to many different venues and they all have drawbacks. Some are crazy expensive for tickets and hotels, some are a logistical nightmare and some produce lack luster racing. Rarely, is it all three.

    For fans of motorcycling, all Moto GP events attended should be considered nothing but life long memories of happiness. The sights and sounds at ALL rounds are something to behold. Does it suck that the business of putting on the events gets in the way sometimes? Yes.

    I saw Hayden win at Laguna and I saw Rossi produce a master class performance to beat Stoner at Laguna, so Laguna will always be one of the best to me.

    I guess its on to COTA now! Hopefully, its not a Honda dominated track year after year.

  • Yeeha! Stephen

    Ian said “I guess its on to COTA now!”

    Welcome Ya’ll! Come on out and start making memories in Texas.

    Some of the prices are high in Austin but very reasonable on the out-skirts of town. No prob with your speed getting to the track either…. the main highway to the track has an 80 mph limit! Multiple lane/multiple exit paths from the track had me out in 5 minutes at this years GP… and that was their first attempt! They’ll do better next year.
    You’ll love the food. Take a ride 20 minutes North from the track to the Round Rock location of Salt Lick BBQ and you won’t be disappointed.
    Come for the atmosphere… come for the food… come for the GP and make Texas your new Fav!

    Just a proud Native Texan
    Yeeha! Stephen

  • sideswipeasaurus

    So there it is. I tend to be skeptical of political grandstanding but here’s another example of Texas eating California’s lunch. I won’t say for other subjects but on this one about top level motorcycle racing California’s a has been.

  • Ian

    @ Yeeha! Stephen

    I came in April and it was incredible all the way around (expect for Rossi struggling, but that is my own personal gripe)! I love that COTA and the state of Texas stepped up and committed to a project designed for sports that are currently much more popular in other countries. I love the vision and the passion!

    Plus, I moving to Austin next year. So the timing doesn’t hurt me too much. COTA will be my new home race and Indy will be my mini-vacation race. Not a bad deal!

  • “Well to me the solution is simple. Cut that big chuck of dirt out of the California coast and drop it onto the infield area of Indy.”

    sideswipeasaurus, that very thing may happen. IMS seems willing to do just about anything with its infield to make MotoGP happy. They’re as serious as cancer about this racing stuff.

    Not that Laguna Seca isn’t, but at the end of the day, it’s a county park…and the people of the county could really care less about keeping MotoGP.

  • Mark Born

    Devastated, I’ve been to every major motorcycle and car race at Laguna Seca since the Formula 5000 race in 1974. Thats 195 races at Laguna. I’ve seen it all. Moto GP is by far the best racing on the planet! Yeah even better than F1. I think I’ll just go drown myself in the lakebed. Aaaahhhh!!!!

  • Could you imaging MotoGP at Road America?

    That would be the most epic event ever! The finest track on earth and all those smiling, plump, and drunk Wisconsin girls. MrX. Likes.

    It just has to be too dangerous, too fast, too fun.

    The cops suck there, too, but you could stay in Milwaukee, Madison, or Chicago.

  • It’s very sad to see Laguna Seca lose it’s MotoGP race. I was at CotA this year and it does not compare. Sure it was nice for the riders and VIPs, but there was crappy parking, insanely priced horrible food and no where good to watch as a general admission.
    Plus visiting CA wins over Texas. I’ll go see WSBK at Laguna next year to get my live motorcycling fix and leave MotoGP to those who like walking for days to get to their cars, sitting in traffic for hours to get home and paying too much to eat bad food while watching a race they can only see two corners of.

  • Splat

    Went to my final MotoGP at Seca this year and hate to see it go. While the track is not up to par with the other venues, I’ll miss it’s character and the racing at that level. Never got a ticket to or from the track and would continue to go to the races if MotoGP ever makes it back that way. Sad to see it taken away..

  • hahaha

    Austin is great, but I miss the corckscrew action. Indianapolis is the dullest of the 3, it also was dull in F1. Indy 500 is great though.