There are many reasons to go to Laguna Seca for the Red Bull US GP, but Yamaha have just added another one. Former 500cc World Champion Kenny Roberts will be taking out both a 2011 Yamaha YZF-M1 MotoGP machine and the YZR-500 machine he won the 1980 World Championship on. Having stood in awe watching Roberts ride his TZ750 flat track bike at the Indy Mile in 2009, I have a suspicion that Roberts will not be holding back on the bike.
Here's the official Yamaha press release announcing the ride:
The King Kenny Roberts to Ride at Red Bull U.S. GP at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca!
Yamaha is very pleased to announce that three time World Champion "King" Kenny Roberts will return to the track at the world famous Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Raceway during this year's running of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix.
Roberts plans to take to the track all three days beginning with the previously announced fan lap on Friday, July 22nd, and then on Saturday Kenny will ride a specially prepared factory YZR-M1 distinguished in 50th Anniversary livery for several laps during the lunch break. Then on Sunday, just prior to the start of the MotoGP finale, Kenny will ride his 1980 World Championship winning YZR500!
"I'm really looking forward to it!" said Kenny from his home in northern California, "as this will be the very first time I've ridden at the USGP and my 31 year old championship-winning YZR is ready to go!"
Two years ago Kenny took a few laps around the famed Indy Mile to recall his incredible win there in 1975. The video is shown below:
"These very special on track activities are part of our plans to celebrate Yamaha's prestigious 50th Anniversary of World Grand Prix racing "said Bob Starr, General Manager of Communications for Yamaha, "We are truly honored to have Kenny in our family and he continues to give back to his fans as he has done for so long!"