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AMA Superbike graduates Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards gave the home crowd (153,653 strong over three days) exactly what the came to see, an all-American 1-2 in the USGP at Laguna Seca.

Hayden continued his absolutely dominating weekend performance in the race. The 2002 AMA Superbike champion broke free at the start and put in a flawless ride all the way to the checkered flag.

Initially nearly overcome with emotion as the thousands screamed their approval, the Honda star later spoke as the realization that he had just taken his first MotoGP victory began to sink in. “This is like a fairy tale. To come to your home GP and be fastest in nearly all the sessions and get pole and then win is just a dream come true. It’s been a while since I won anything -- except the dating game TV thing -- and this feels amazing. For the race I put my head down and just rode my heart out the whole race. In the middle of the race I saw the time gap come down and I thought, ‘oh no,’ but I kept focused.”

Edwards, a three-time AMA Superbike winner for Yamaha, kept Hayden honest during the race. The ‘Texas Tornado’ overtook his Grand Prix legend teammate Valentino Rossi to move into the runner-up position and then survived a last-lap attack from ‘the Doctor’ himself to claim second.

Edwards said, “I made another bad start and ended up with two riders making a sandwich of me into turn one. They had my handlebars on each side and just carried me into the corner so I thought it was going to end in a big mess. Once I got clear of the group I got my head down and pushed as hard as I could to pass Valentino. At that point I still had something left to try and catch Nicky but every time I closed the gap he responded, so hats off to him. When the tires went off I was just hanging on to finish the race. I knew I had an advantage of around two seconds over Valentino but on the last lap I looked at my board and it said 0.6. I guessed it must be a mistake but I then looked over my shoulder in turn two and he was right there! I thought “oh no, not on the last lap!” I gave everything I had left to hold him off and came close to crashing a few times so second place is really pleasing.”

July 10, 2005

Author: Chris Martin

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