Marquez to Defend his Lead as Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix Gets Underway

Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi. Photo courtesy of Bob Heathcote.

The Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix kicked off Thursday with a pre-race press conference at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Repsol Honda Team’s current championship leader Marc Marquez was joined by Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi, Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards, and NGM’s Alex de Angelis.

Marquez, who has never been to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca before, is looking forward to tackling the tricky track. “I expected less blind corners,” he said. “It looks like a very different track, but we’ll see on the bike. Especially the banking corners will be interesting.”

The press conference was a light-hearted affair, highlighted by the coincidence that the track doctor, who will be the one declaring Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo either fit or unfit to race after their crashes last week in Germany, is called Dr. Rossi. When asked about this, Valentino Rossi joked, “For me they are clearly unfit!” But added afterward that he was no relation.