Moto GP at Laguna Seca: It's Over, and No SurpriseS

Just when we though the deflating balloon of Valentino Rossi and the Yamaha team would give MotoGP a needed butt shot of nitromethane — and hand a few more victories to American homeboy Nicky Hayden — out pops 21-year-old Australian Casey Stoner to ride Ducati's labcoattails to superstardom. No surprises today at Laguna Seca, as Stoner broke a 12-race MotoGP pole-position curse to take the win — dominating the field and besting countryman Chris Vermeulen, who took second. Uncontested wins make us cranky, especially when we're braving the California sun, sidestepping sleeping drunks and barrel rolling atop spent air-horn canisters. Hayden's chances for a threepeat at Laguna were obliterated when the Kentucky Kid collided with fellow Yank John Hopkins on the first corner, an unfortunately pathetic cut-off display by Hopkins that Hayden really needed not to have happened. The incident sent a fissure through the field and sealed off those at the top of the grid from those below. Our hopes for a MotoGP renaissance now seem further away than ever. Yay, bikes!

MotoGP US Grand Prix Final:
1. Casey Stoner (Australia) Ducati 44:20.325
2. Chris Vermeulen (Australia) Suzuki 44:30.190
3. Marco Melandri (Italy) Honda 44:45.966
4. Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha 44:50.989
5. Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 44:55.947
6. Randy de Puniet (France) Kawasaki 44:58.631
7. Anthony West (Australia) Kawasaki 45:01.747
8. Makoto Tamada (Japan) Yamaha 45:02.680
9. Alex Barros (Brazil) Ducati 45:03.845
10. Roger Lee Hayden (U.S.) Kawasaki 45:04.045
11. Colin Edwards (U.S.) Yamaha 45:07.701
12. Shinya Nakano (Japan) Honda 45:13.173
13. Sylvain Guintoli (France) Yamaha 45:18.735
14. Carlos Checa (Spain) Honda 45:35.691
15. John Hopkins (U.S.) Suzuki +2 Laps

2007 MotoGP Standings
1. Casey Stoner (Australia) Ducati 221 points
2. Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha 177
3. Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 155
4. Chris Vermeulen (Australia) Suzuki 113
5. Marco Melandri (Italy) Honda 113
6. John Hopkins (U.S.) Suzuki 104
7. Colin Edwards (U.S.) Yamaha 93
8. Loris Capirossi (Italy) Ducati 77
9. Alex Barros (Brazil) Ducati 76
10. Nicky Hayden (U.S.) Honda 73
11. Alex Hofmann (Germany) Ducati 60
12. Randy de Puniet (France) Kawasaki 50
13. Toni Elias (Spain) Honda 49
14. Makoto Tamada (Japan) Yamaha 31
15. Carlos Checa (Spain) Honda 29