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WSB vs. AMA Superbike at Laguna Seca

In a couple of weeks, the gods of superbike racing will all convene near Monterey, California at Laguna Seca Raceway. On the same weekend, AMA Superbike stars will compete in their series, while WSB stars compete in their series, as well. Following the Saturday AMA Superbike event, the Sunday WSB double-header will undoubtedly provide the most interest.

More AMA stars than ever seek to ride the Sunday WSB events. Most likely, among those riding on Sunday, will be Nicky Hayden and Miguel Duhamel from Honda, Doug Chandler from HMC Ducati (it’s Doug’s home track, after all), Kawasaki’s Eric Bostrom and Yoshimura Suzuki’s Aaron Yates. A formidable group to challenge the WSB regulars, for sure. AMA riders have won the WSB round at Laguna before (including Anthony Gobert and Ben Bostrom), but, arguably, the AMA has never thrown as many top-level riders into the WSB Sunday festivities as we will see this year.

Is Troy Bayliss’ Ducati really a bit better than Colin Edwards’ Honda, as Edwards claims? We might get an interesting answer to that question if Nicky Hayden (on virtually the same bike Colin rides) beats Bayliss at Laguna, and Edwards, once again, finishes in Bayliss’ exhaust fumes. Will Bayliss begin to ride conservatively, with his comfortable points lead over Colin Edwards an almost sure lock on the championship absent a crash or a mechanical problem? Will the Bostrom brothers, Eric and Ben, fight one another in one or both races?

For several reasons, the Laguna Seca WSB round could be the most interesting of the year.