Cycles, cars, tech come together at Mazda Raceway

Elite tech, motorcycles, and cars await anyone lucky enough to walk through the pits of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the Red Bull MotoGP Grand Prix.

Yamaha racing motorcycles wait for action in the pits at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca before the 2011 Red Bull Grand Prix.
John Scott Lewinski/CNET

SALINAS, Calif.--Though the Red Bull Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is considered a pilgrimage destination for motorcycle and racing fans, anyone with an interest in technology and engineering will find a wonderland of expensive toys here.

The Red Bull Grand Prix packs several days of test runs, time trials, and elite motorcycle racing into the big weekend. Thousands of bike and racing enthusiasts flock to the Mazda Raceway, as they do to Daytona Beach for Bike Week or the Sturgis Rally in South Dakota. In between races, fans can see the superbikes up close, explore the latest motorcycle and car models, and shop the latest developments in gear and helmets.

The weekend included races in the MotoGP, superbike, sportbike, and E-Power classes. The main event is the Red Bull MotoGP U.S. Grand Prix, where Australian Tommy Casey Stoner beat out defending world tour champion Jorge Lorenzo. Fans lucky enough to have pit passes could stroll between the installations of the top racing teams. Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, and other racing teams rumble into Laguna Seca in fleets of semi trucks, unpacking expansive tents and piles of expensive electronic equipment to keep the racing bikes operating at peak levels.

In between races, fans swam through a sea of outdoor vendor space. Ducati, Star Motorcycles, Yamaha, Honda, and their competitors put up modest tent cities where riders could get hands-on time with the latest dream cycles, gear, on-bike gadgets, and even hot new cars coming to showrooms in 2012.

To explore images from Mazda Raceway, check out our gallery.