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MotoGP legends relish Super Karts clash
Fans attending the 2005 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix July 8-10 will think it is
"déjà vu all over again," as former grand prix motorcycle world champions
Wayne Rainey, Eddie Lawson and Kevin Schwantz, along with three-time U.S.
Superbike champion Doug Chandler, will once again be mixing it up on track
during the Yamaha and GE Superstars of Super Karts race.
"This event is a chance to see our road racing heroes competing again on the
racetrack," said Bob Starr, Corporate Communications Manager for Yamaha
Motor Company. "On behalf of GE's Consumer and Commercial Finance
businesses, as well as Yamaha during its 50th Anniversary Celebration, we're
proud to be a part of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix weekend through this
sponsorship as well as our contribution to the track improvement program."
With thanks to Superstars of Super Karts race sponsors Yamaha and GE, the
motorcycle champions will compete head-to-head with some of the world's best
Super Kart racers. They'll all be piloting 250cc racing karts that feature
semi-enclosed bodywork and rear wings and can reach speeds up to 140 mph
around the 11-turn, 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca road course.
"People look at these Super Karts and think they are cute little toys, but
they haul butt around here," according to Lawson. The four-time world
champion (1984, '86, '88, '89) set the Super Kart lap record at Mazda
Raceway Laguna Seca in 2003 - 1 minute, 23.875 seconds, an average speed of
100.864 mph. (Troy Bayliss turned the fastest official lap on a motorcycle
at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca when he road his Ducati around the circuit in 1
minute, 24.833 seconds during the 2002 World Superbike Championship event.)
Lawson will be competing with three-time world champion Wayne Rainey
(1990-92), 1993 world champion Kevin Schwantz and three-time U.S. Superbike
champion (1984, '86, '88, '89) Doug Chandler, who tested a Super Kart for
the first time back in January.
"Driving a Super Kart around here is completely different than racing a
motorcycle," said Chandler, who is new to Super Karts. "These karts have so
much more grip than a bike through the corners. It is going to take some
getting used to, physically. But this is just a good opportunity for us
(Rainey, Lawson, Schwantz and himself) to get together on the race track
The motorcycle racing legends will be competing against some of the top
Super Kart racers in the world, including Gerald Siebert, an eight-time
Australian Super Kart champion, and American Larry Kurpiewski, a five-time
International Karting Federation (IKF) Grand National champion.
All of the Super Kart racers take to the track on Friday, July 8, for a pair
of practice sessions. They'll be on track three times on Saturday, July 9,
with a morning warm-up, qualifying session and a 25-minute race scheduled
for 3:10 p.m., immediately following MotoGP qualifying.