Rossi Puts Stoner in the Dirt at Laguna

Valentino Rossi gave a clinic on Sunday, out-riding Casey Stoner for his first ever win at Laguna Seca.  Stoner, despite having the faster qualifying times, could never catch Rossi after a first lap pass and ended up a distant second.  Points is points, but Rossi was clearly the more skilled rider in Monterey.

Rossi spanks Stoner at Laguna Seca

Rossi spanks Stoner at Laguna Seca

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CBS did a pretty good job of broadcasting the race, although the announcers kept cutting to commercial with breathless comments like, “My heart is beating!” and “This is exciting!”.  They caught Lorenzo’s high side crash pretty well, but had to spend too much time tracking the field while Stoner and Rossi ran away with the race.  Also, you would think that with a race this brief, around 45 minutes, CBS could afford fewer commercial breaks during the race, and hope to make up for the revenue shortfall by building viewership for future races.  I was also surprised by the utter lack of crowd shots; it was hard to tell if there was ANYONE actually there for the race.

With Lorenzo and Pedrosa healing from injuries (although with the summer break both are likely to be back at full speed in August), the 2008 season has become Stoner and Rossi.  The folks at the Motor Speedway have now started cranking up their PR machine in hopes of attracting 150,000 fans for race weekend in September.  Two of their flacks were also interviewed yesterday, expressing some surprise that a lot of attendees will be riding their bikes to Indianapolis, and wondering about things like parking.  Hello!!!

Other than a nice article by Phil Wilson in the Indianapolis Star, there wasn’t a lot of coverage out there early on.  MotoGP still suffers from a lack of awareness among American motorsports fans, a problem which the annual Indianapolis GP should help address.

Final Laguna Seca standings:

1 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Factory 44:04.311

2 Casey Stoner Ducati MotoGP 44:17.312

3 Chris Vermeulen Suzuki MotoGP 44:30.920

4 Andrea Dovizioso Honda Scot 44:39.212

5 Nicky Hayden Honda HRC 44:39.974

6 Randy De Puniet Honda LCR 44:41.979

7 Antonio Elias Ducati d Antin 44:45.940

8 Ben Spies Suzuki MotoGP 44:46.238

9 James Toseland Yamaha Tech3 44:47.330

10 Shinya Nakano Honda Gresini 44:48.702

11 Jamie Hacking Kawasaki Racing 44:50.569

12 Sylvain Guintoli Ducati d Antin 44:59.584

13 Alex De Angelis Honda Gresini 44:59.832

14 Colin Edwards Yamaha Tech3 45:06.691

15 Loris Capirossi Suzuki MotoGP 45:12.518

16 Marco Melandri Ducati MotoGP 45:15.273

17 Anthony West Kawasaki Racing 45:34.872

Latest MotoGP World Championship standings:

1 Valentino ROSSI ITA Fiat Yamaha Team 212

2 Casey STONER AUS Ducati Team 187

3 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team 171

4 Jorge LORENZO SPA Fiat Yamaha Team 114

5 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA JiR Team Scot MotoGP 103

6 Colin EDWARDS USA Tech 3 Yamaha 100

7 Chris VERMEULEN AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 89

8 Nicky HAYDEN USA Repsol Honda Team 84

9 James TOSELAND GBR Tech 3 Yamaha 72

10 Shinya NAKANO JPN San Carlo Honda Gresini 70

11 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 61

12 Toni ELIAS SPA Alice Team 46

13 Alex DE ANGELIS RSM San Carlo Honda Gresini 41

14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA LCR Honda MotoGP 40

15 Sylvain GUINTOLI FRA Alice Team 38

16 John HOPKINS USA Kawasaki Racing Team 32

17 Marco MELANDRI ITA Ducati Team 32

18 Anthony WEST AUS Kawasaki Racing Team 22

19 Ben SPIES USA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 10

20 Jamie HACKING USA Kawasaki Racing Team 5

21 Tadayuki OKADA JPN Repsol Honda Team 2

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