The Superbike World Championship comes to the United States: from July 12th to 14th, Laguna Seca Raceway will host the 9th Round of the World Championship. Situated on the Monterey peninsula, 150 km (93 miles) from San Francisco, the circuit was inaugurated on November 9th 1957 with a race won by a 500 TR Ferrari.
The track has changed 6 times from its inauguration but the latest version has not changed since 1996. Its distinctive feature is the continuous slope variations in gradient, from the well-known Corkscrew, a rapid left-right turn with an 18 meter (59 feet) drop in only 137 meters (449 feet). Basically it is as if the motorcycles are jumping off of a 5-story building.
The track's extreme windiness and the lack of long straights prevents the Superbikes from reaching speeds of up to 270 km/h (168 mph), which are instead exceeded on all the other 12 World Championship tracks. This results in lots of moderate braking, except for the second bend, the only one where the brakes are used for more than 4 seconds.
According to Brembo technicians, who work closely with 15 World Superbike riders, Laguna Seca Raceway is an averagely demanding circuit for the brakes. On a scale from 1 to 5 it has been given a difficulty level of 3, the same as the one of the tracks that will host the next Round, that is Portimão.