Laguna Seca is a bit like Mecca -- you HAVE to come to this iconic track at least once in your life!


Thankfully, we have been coming here every year since its return in 2005 - we just can’t get enough!


Another brilliant weekend that lasted about 12 nanoseconds...

Danger: Sip once the waters of Laguna and you will be forever hooked!

Leaving the track Sunday we always get this feeling of ‘what hit me?’ (And then we go for our traditional Sunday night dinner and pub crawl - always meeting up with riders - and wonder ‘when can we do all this again?’!)


We started as usual at the track Thursday for the Day of Champions USA.  REALLY TRY to get there -- few people attend, almost all the riders are there, there is little competition for some brilliant merchandise and best of all, it support a great cause: Riders for Health.


We got down to serious business Thursday evening, enjoying a bevy at our great Monterey hotel, the Portola Plaza (where we bumped into and hat a bit of a chat to Czech rider Karel Abraham - ironically one of our guests in 2010 as a Moto2 rider!)  A feast at our favourite local Mexican set the pace for the weekend - lots of great food, drink and company!


Friday is a great day at the track -- the VIP VILLAGE is open with its stunning views and light refreshments, and while uncatered, our trackside POLE POSITION CLUB was a welcome oasis.

Andrew and one of his photos Friday night. Check out all his work on www.automotophoto.com


Friday night we had our opening dinner. Our featured guest speaker was pro photographer Andrew Wheeler.  Andrew has been at this game for many years, and treated us to a stunning review of his pics from Laguna over the past 8 years. 


Saturday it was up to the track for full-on action and hospitality. One of the great things about Laguna is that you can get very close to the riders. 
The super Marco Simoncelli stopped and gave and autograph or photo to anyone who asked. Of course to get REALLY close you need to join our Team Experience which gives you a ‘backstage’ pass - so you can meet the riders without the huge crowds hanging around! 


We were also fortunate enough to be host in the Pole Position Club  to a fine collection of autographed merchandise f
rom Autographed Collectibles. Our customers got a discount on all items, and of course they arrange shipping on the spot for those that don’t have the luggage space!


There is SO MUCH ACTION at Laguna you hardly know where to turn! Well, they don’t bring the Moto2s or 125cc, but the AMA classes and the unique Electric Bike series are fascinating.  We were delighted when a young rider we sponsored in the Red Bull Rookies Cup, Benny Solis, WON the AMA Supersport race!  We really enjoyed the opportunity to congratulate a former sponsoree!


Saturday night we hit dinner and Cannery Row. See our comments in the sidebar.


The first sight of the Laguna circuit on a typically foggy Sunday morning is enough to put your heart in your mouth in anticipation of an awesome day!  The crowds swell, the atmosphere goes ballistic - as do Colin Edwards’ Tee Shirts!   It isn’t jus

Colin sends tee shirts to the crowd in his inimitable fashion (JF)

t the action on the track here -- there is so much to see and do! King Kenny rolled up with his YZR500. There are umbrella girls galore. The AMA paddock is packed with famous American riders and machinery.  Where to go? What to look at?


And should you lack for merchandise, the shopping is awesome!  If you can’t buy it at Laguna no one sells it!


We never talk much about the racing itself in these reports - see the mainstream press -- the Mot

Monterey California

A personal comment by Gordon Howell, managing director

Saturday night a group of us had a VIP dinner in Monterey. I have to say the only downside to the weekend - and Laguna Seca in general - is the horribly oppressive atmosphere the local police impose in Monterey and especially on Cannery Row.  Everyone is there to have a good time - the police literally stand 5 abreast, virtually in arm lock, giving the very strong impression that they expect a riot to erupt any moment.  Woe be to the person who revs his engine unnecessarily or deviates from an arrow straight line while sticking to the sidewalk of Cannery Row - thus giving them an opportunity to pounce in the interests of ‘public safety’.  It really does bely the underlying attitude that bikers are dangerous hoodlums and barely tolerated in our fine city (an attitude routinely reinforced by other locals - in dramatic contrast to the welcome one gets in Indianapolis)  After years of bad experience by ourselves and our customers we will not be organising any function in Monterey proper again. Brilliant circuit, terrible town.

oGP was another Stoney domination; but we were thrilled at the fight Spies put up to take an awesome 4th!  The most exciting race of the weekend however was the AMA superbike race following the GP.  This was edge-of-seat stuff all the way, even if you don’t know much about the league and riders. Have to say, sitting trackside with a beer (and some first class food!) watching this sort of racing unfold literally in front of you on a glorious California day is my idea of heaven!


At the Pole Position Club we were honoured to have as special guests two of the young and upcoming American racers - Lex Hartle, Brad Boucher and Tyler Linders; all 13-15 years old and FAST!


We also made heavy use of our golf cart tours - we can take people anywhere, but for some reason no one wants to go anywhere apart from the legendary Corkscrew! 


After the day - which indeed did seem to last at least 10 minutes from arrival time! - we headed out for our traditional ‘winding down’ dinner. About 15 of us cornering all the Hula Bowls available, and swapping stories with people like Neil - former chief mechanic of MANY teams, especially Ducati.  The hard core then set out for the pubs where for the past several years we never fail to end up getting tossed out at closing time in the company of several MotoGP riders.  But we can’t really tell you more about this...!


A great time, as usual, had by all.  Can’t wait to come back!!


Unless marked, photos by Pole Position Travel staff.  Many thanks to John Fajardo (JF) for a number of great shots as noted - see his galleries on www.johnomoto.com


See all our Laguna Seca MotoGP offerings.

 

USA Grand Prix 22-24 July 2011