MotoGP World Championship leader Valentino Rossi made an early foray onto the Laguna Seca tarmac today, taking part in a Superkart exhibition alongside fellow Yamaha legends Kenny Roberts, Eddie Lawson and Wayne Rainey. The foursome made four laps in Superkarts powered by a specially-prepared Yamaha TZ 250 engines, which lap the 3.601km California circuit just a couple of seconds slower than the MotoGP bikes.
The Italian and the three Americans hold an impressive 18 Grand Prix World Championship titles between them, including three each for Yamaha.
Yesterday Rossi and team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, as well as Tech 3 Yamaha riders Colin Edwards and James Toseland, made a visit to the headquarters of Yamaha US just outside Los Angeles to make a special film. The results can be viewed at www.yamaha-motor.com/sport/mcy/usgp/2009/video/video_office.aspx.
Valentino Rossi Speaks...
"Honestly I was bit nervous about the Superkarts before because I know how fast these things are! I sometimes drive one in Italy with friends, just for fun, but I know that Kenny, Eddie and Wayne like to race and they're quite serious! Also this isn't the easiest track... Anyway, it was great fun and I enjoyed myself a lot. The kart is quite incredible; the gearbox is very good and in the hard braking areas it's really impressive. It feels very fast and it's possible to have a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to getting back on my bike tomorrow however!"