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Carmel Magazine SP 15

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Page 57 of 195

Motorcycle Wor ld Championship on Track at Laguna Seca SHORTCUTS EVENTS 56 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 5 M azda Raceway Laguna Seca's famously challenging curves and cor- ners will welcome some of motorcycle racing's rising stars as part of an international series returning this summer. The eni FIM Superbike World Championship rolls into town on July 17, 18 and 19. This year marks Mazda Raceway's third consecutive presenta- tion of the event. It's also the only US stop in this series showcasing the very machines that spectators can find on showroom floors. Because the bikes are less technically advanced than those used in other professional racing formats, competitors have an oppor tunity to demonstrate advanced driving skills. Headlining racers bound for Monterey include Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam and Chaz Davies, who took the top three spots at the February World Superbike opener in Australia. Tom Sykes, who set a record while here for the 2014 World Superbike event, is also on this year's schedule. Locals may recognize pro racer Larry Pegram, who hosts cycling classes at the track and is set to compete, as well. New for 2015 are several MotoAmerica events that spotlight up-and- coming drivers. "These classes are designed to create the next Valentino Rossi," says Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca General Manager and CEO Gill Campbell, referencing the Italian motorcyclist who has won multiple MotoGP World Champion titles. MotoAmerica drivers will compete in supersport, super- bike, KTM and superstock classes in Monterey. Part of World Superbike's appeal, Campbell explains, is the accessibility that fans enjoy. A more low-key atmosphere than other major motorcy- cle races means more opportunities to interact with drivers during auto- graph sessions and off-track happenings. "The riders are more approachable," she says, "and fans have access to what's really going on. You're going to see a lot more up-close action with this event." Tickets for the eni FIM Superbike World Championship, GEICO Motorcycle US Round start at $35. Parking, paddock and premium multi-day packages are also available. For schedules and passes, visit —Renee Brincks Laguna Seca Raceway gears up for its busy summer season with the July 17th eni FIM Superbike World Championship, the only US event of the global series. Beyond two days of thrilling races, the weekend allows fans great chances to meet riders. Photo: DMT Imaging

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