The eighth annual Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix marks the return of liter capacity motorcycles to the sinuous circuit in the hills outside of Monterey. When last we saw 990s on the 2.243-mile, 11-turn roller coaster, Nicky Hayden was celebrating the second of his consecutive MotoGP wins on the Repsol Honda RC211V that carried him to the 2006 MotoGP World Championship.
The switch to 800s the following year produced Ducati’s first and only win at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, but not Casey Stoner’s only win. Repsol Honda’s Stoner won last year after an unexpected outside pass of Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo in the kink left that is turn one.
But the most memorable U.S. GP came in 2008, when Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi frustrated reigning World Champion Casey Stoner in what some believe is the best MotoGP race since the dawn of the four-stroke era.
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