16 May 2008
WSBK: Back in the USA.
But while the championship was going through this growth phase, the Brainerd leg was abandoned and the US round disappeared from the championship for three seasons.
Superbike was in need of a more prestigious venue, and after years of waiting, in 1995 it crossed the Atlantic once again to take up a new home at the Laguna Seca track in California.
The Laguna Seca Years
Laguna Seca held World Superbike races for ten successive years and at the same time became one of the principal events on the calendar.
The fascination of a unique circuit, the spectacular setting, and an increasingly massive influx of spectators over the years turned the US round into a 'blue-ribbon' event that always represented a challenge between the two hearts of Superbike: American and European.
The first event at Laguna Seca in 1995 witnessed the success of two Australian talents, Anthony Gobert and Troy Corser: both spectacular riders and both famous throughout the world.
Corser had won the AMA championship in the USA the previous year and was rapidly emerging in Europe in the Ducati squad. The first American rider to win at Laguna Seca was world-beater John Kocinski who took victory on a Ducati in 1996.
Over the years Superbike has given the Laguna Seca public and the entire world some of the most spectacular racing and memorable action ever seen on two wheels. The last time the Californian circuit was the venue for a World Superbike race was in 2004 when Chris Vermeulen scored a double win on a Honda.
Another Australian, double world champion Troy Bayliss, will lead WSBK into Miller Motorsports Park when practice takes place later this month...
USA Round Statistics:
1989 Brainerd Roche (FRA-Ducati) Roche (FRA-Ducati)
1990 Brainerd Mertens (BEL-Honda) Chandler (USA-Kawasaki)
1991 Brainerd Polen (USA-Ducati) Polen (USA-Ducati)
1995 Laguna Seca Gobert (AUS-Kawasaki) Corser (AUS-Ducati)
1996 Laguna Seca Kocinski (USA-Ducati) Gobert (AUS-Kawasaki)
1997 Laguna Seca Kocinski (USA-Honda) Kocinski (USA-Honda)
1998 Laguna Seca Corser (AUS-Ducati) Haga (JPN-Yamaha)
1999 Laguna Seca Gobert (AUS-Ducati) Bostrom B. (USA-Ducati)
2000 Laguna Seca Haga (JPN-Yamaha) Corser (AUS-Aprilia)
2001 Laguna Seca Bostrom B. (USA-Ducati) Bostrom B. (USA-Ducati)
2002 Laguna Seca Bayliss (AUS-Ducati) Edwards (USA-Honda)
2003 Laguna Seca Chili (ITA-Ducati) Xaus (SPA-Ducati)
2004 Laguna Seca Vermeulen (AUS-Honda) Vermeulen (AUS-Honda)
Races held: 13 (Brainerd 3, Laguna Seca 10)
Wins per rider: Ben Bostrom 3, Gobert 3, Kocinski 3, Corser 3, Roche 2, Vermeulen 2, Polen 2, Haga 2, Mertens 1, Chandler 1, Edwards 1, Chili 1, Xaus 1, Bayliss 1
Wins per country (riders): USA 10, Australia 9, France 2, Japan 2, Italy 1, Belgium 1, Spain 1
Wins per manufacturer: Ducati 15, Honda 6, Kawasaki 2, Yamaha 2, Aprilia 1
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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