Along with the annual motorcycle races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, tens of thousands of fans get an up-close look at superbikes and the latest, greatest gear.
SALINAS, Calif.--A journey through the racing pits and marketplace at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the weekend's annual Red Bull Grand Prix here unveiled a world of elite engineering and technology tied to some of the fastest driving machines in the world.
In today's elite racing motorcycles, sophisticated computer software analyzes and tunes competitive performance, as on this Yamaha racing bike being prepped by a mechanic.
The Red Bull Grand Prix packs several days of test runs, time trials, and elite motorcycle racing into the big weekend. During practice laps and time trials for the Red Bull Grand Prix, updated lap times are posted electronically to the media and throughout the pits on giant screens.
The main event is the Red Bull MotoGP U.S. Grand Prix, where this year Australian Tommy Casey Stoner beat out defending world tour champion Jorge Lorenzo.
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.
One of many bikes on display for sale at local dealers, the 2011 Stryker from Star Motorcycles sells standard-equipped for about $15,000.