Posted: 22 Sep 2013
World Superbikes head back to Laguna Seca this weekend for the first time in just under a decade. The iconic circuit was initially on the calendar for a nine year period from 1995 to 2004. The series then took a hiatus from America until 2008, when the series visited the then brand new Miller Motorsports Park. Miller was removed from the calendar for the 2013 season and replaced by Laguna, perhaps one of the most iconic American circuits - at least in terms of motorcycling.
The first ever WSBK round at Laguna in 1995 was dominated by Australians. With Troy Corser on pole position, Anthony Gobert took the first race with Corser on the top step in the second. The first American win at Laguna Seca came in the second event as John Kocinski took victory alongside Anthony Gobert.
Kocinski then took double victory in 1997 while Corser returned to the top step for 1998 in race one with Noriyuki Haga taking the second race victory.
In1999 Gobert took another victory in California with Bostrom recording his first home victory in the second race. Haga took his second win at the famed circuit in 2000 with Corser returning to the top step in race 2. Ben Bostrom took the double again in 2001.
2002 saw the Superbike legend Troy Bayliss’ first win at the Californian circuit, the American’s weren’t left disappointed though with Colin Edwards taking the second race. AMA star Mat Mladin took pole position in 2003 but it was Chili and Xaus took sharing the top step come Sunday. 2004 saw further Australian success in the shape of Chris Vermeulen, who took double victory.
With no Australian riding in the series, their race winning tally won’t be added to this weekend and it’s probably unlikely that we’ll be hearing the Star-Spangled Banner with the only American rider racing being AMA star Blake Young, replacing the injured Leon Camier at Crescent Suzuki.