"EVERYTHING BUT THE RACE":
SUPERBIKES AT LAGUNA SECA
Reported and Photographed By Bill Dobbins
JULY, 2000 - It is a very special weekend. Laguna Seca Raceway is hosting not only the AMA Superbike series, but World Superbike as well - plus a host of support races. Tens of thousands of bikes have descended upon the race track and the surrounding cities. The streets of nearby Monterey host a continuous parade of sport bikes, tourers, cruisers - from Harleys to Ducatis and everything in between. Hotel and motel parking lots are a sea of motorcycles. Parking along Cannery Row is bikes only.
The coming together of the American and WSB circuits is a very big deal. As if Indy Cars and Formula I decided to race at the same track on the same weekend. Every top superbike rider is here. The biggest names, the most famous champions. The World Superbikes are the more tricked out. The money spent on the development of the exotic parts that make up their engines, brakes, suspension and electronics is phenomenal. The American bikes are also very high-tech machines, exotic in their own right, but not quite on the same level. But the same can't be said of the riders. At least, the American series riders wouldn't be the ones to say so. Many have raced in WSB and most of the rest aspire to. This is their chance to show-off in front of the whole motorcycle racing world and they plan to make the best of it.
I was fortunate to be invited to the race by the people at Castrol Honda (special thanks to PR Manager Chris Herring and Team Manager Neil Tuxworth) - one of the dominant teams in World Superbike. But I didn't ask for a track pass. When you are on the track shooting, you see a turn or two at a time, but you don't really get to watch the race. Instead, aside from a few wide-angle photos of the bikes speeding around the track, I watched the races from the grandstand and spent the rest of the weekend doing photos of everything BUT the race. Click below to see the results.
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