USA Grand Prix 19-21 July 2013

“When we interviewed him, we weren’t expecting such a candid story.”

--- Guest speaker Mark Neale, referring to the interview of Jorge Lorenzo about his titanic battle and loss to Valentino Rossi at Catalunya 2009

We prepend this report with the sad news that this turned out to be the last MotoGP to take place at Laguna Seca as it has been dropped from the calendar.  We are sorry to see it go - this is an iconic circuit and always a brilliant weekend.  Laguna brought a magic that no other circuit in the tournament can replace. From a personal perspective, I have been to every MotoGP since its return in 2005. I will miss it.

Gordon Howell, Managing Director

Coming from Central Europe, this is a hellishly long way to go for a weekend. We never stop from the moment we land (and make the 2+ hour drive following usually 18+ hours of travel). We fly back utterly spent.  And can’t wait to do it all again!

Laguna Seca is always about the most magic weekend of the year, and 2013 will be remembered as a landmark event.

Finally, after managing to miss it for 5 years, we did the entire Riders for Health Day of Stars on Thursday (see photos).  I must say, what were we THINKING when we missed it those other years?  The first highlight is a guided ride of about 3 hours around the hills surrounding Salinas county.  We were escorted by some of California’s finest, and they weren’t arresting us for speeding! We drove the van for the non-riders, and now hold the 15 seat passenger van record for the Carmel Valley road... A visit to the Talbott Winery was a real highlight. We then returned for some laps of the track; and we now also hold the record for a hot lap of Laguna Seca in a van!  The group got tours of the paddock and pits by none other than Randy Mamola, and a brilliant auction at the end of the day capped it off. If you are coming to Laguna next year, you REALLY want to do this -- and it is all for a great cause.

Thursday evening we met with many of the customers at our traditional Happy Hour. Karel Abraham walked by, and we all got to wish him luck, as we did Dani Pedrosa and later Cal Crutchlow.  One of the great reasons we base our package at this hotel...

Friday was a day at the track, where we commenced our famous golf cart tours around the circuit and primarily to the corkscrew to see bikes do this 7-storey plummet from literally a trackside view!  Always the highlight of the weekend for our hospitality and team guests!

Friday evening we had our opening dinner at the hotel, with guest movie director Mark Neale.  Mark showed clips from his latest film Fastest and talked about past and upcoming projects.  Fascinating stuff. We got loads of memorabilia as well!

Saturday was a perfect day at the track. Brilliant weather, tons of track action.  The highlight was the AMA supersport race, won by our sponsored rider Joe Roberts. Joe (age 16) races in the Red Bull Rookies (where we sponsor him).  He started riding the 600s in the AMA several months earlier and has won EVERY race he has participated in! This boy is going far!

Saturday was a free evening - several of us were at the microbrewery adjacent to the hotel and ran into Isle of Man TT star Ben Johnson. Since the TT is one of our events, we were delighted to have a number of drinks with he ad his mates and hear some of the “war stories”.  Proof that EVERYONE come to Laguna!

Sunday dawned with the traditional morning mist. Makes a very eerie atmosphere at the track, but like  delayed curtain call it suddenly lifts to reveal Laguna Seca in all its glory, ready for race action!  The MotoGP race was legendary.  Marc Marquez had a duel with Valentino Rossi which was a virtual repeat of Rossi’s famous joust versus Casey Stoner in 2008.   This time, young gun Marc turned the tables, passing Rossi on the gravel down the corkscrew.  Mental! This is what racing should be.  Our friends at LCR Honda were over the moon with their first podium in over 10 years as Stefan Bradl claimed the 3rd spot.

Our day was long from over however!  We went out to our now-traditional dinner at Hulas restaurant, where we once again drank the establishment dry of Scorpion Bowls... Then off to the Red Bull riders party, but we can’t say too much about that... :-)

Another grueling weekend done. Can’t wait to do it again!


laguna seca, California, USA 19-21 July 2013


Gordon Howell (GH) Pole Position travel guide

Some reasons to go to the Laguna Seca MotoGP

See all our photos from the event! Click here...Laguna_Seca_Photos.html

We were honoured to be hosting the honeymoon of Japanese couple Yuko and Koji, here being congratulated by Colin Edwards

See all our photos from the event!Laguna_Seca_Photos.html

One of the benefits of our Pole Position Club hospitality (and our MotoGP Team Experiences) were golf cart tours up to the corkscrew where we had special passes for track access. Great for getting a shot with your favourite flag or just seeing the riders up close and in action!

See pictures and report from Riders for Health Day of Stars! Day_of_Stars.html