The Laguna Seca race saw Casey Stoner get back to winning ways, but Jorge Lorenzo still holds a healthy points lead over Pedrosa and Stoner. What will it take to stop Lorenzo?
Back in 2006, Nicky carried a 52 point lead into the second half of the season after Laguna Seca and by the last round, he was trailing by 12 to Valentino, so it is still anyone's championship.
Look at the positions before Sachsenring and most people said Casey was favourite to win, so there's still a long way to go and things can turn very quickly. Also, keep an eye on Pedrosa who is racking up points week in and week out, but keeping his profile quiet while he chips away.
The US GP saw Tech 3 riders Dovizioso and Crutchlow lead the satellite challenge. With new bikes for 2012, due to the change in engine capacity, the difference in bike spec between factory and satellite seems to be small. But is there a danger that the gap will grow again during year two as factory development continues?
Historically, gaps do increase as the bikes are developed, and I don't expect this to be any different next year. I hope I am wrong as we need close racing throughout all of the factory bikes.
I'd like to think we can go back to the 2006 era of the 990s when the bikes were separated by tenths and satellite bikes were winning races too, but the electronics nowadays make this seem an optimistic outlook.
Stefan had never raced at Laguna Seca before, but he did do a track day to try and prepare. How much help was that and what were the biggest differences between riding on a road bike and MotoGP bike at Laguna Seca?
At first, we were not sure exactly how significant the track day would be, but after the first morning practice of the race weekend, it was clear that his day's experience was invaluable, albeit on a completely different bike. The biggest differences were really the acceleration out of the corner and also the braking points which differed hugely from the standard road bike.
Should the Moto2 and Moto3 classes support MotoGP at Laguna Seca, instead of the AMA?
I don't think they should, as this is one of the flag ship events for the AMA and they need all the recognition they can get at this stage. Also, the paddock is very tight and would not necessarily accommodate all classes of bikes. This is the one chance for the American racers to show themselves off to the factory teams from GP, which is where nearly all riders aspire to end up.
Colin Edwards gave an 'entertaining' description of his 2012 troubles during the pre-US GP press conference. Should more MotoGP riders speak their mind in that way? How important is it for riders to try and capture the attention of casual fans, but where should the line be drawn?