2009 MotoGP Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix - Click above for a high-res image gallery

Since 2005, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has played host to the MotoGP race series, and this year Autoblog is happy to be in attendance at this year's Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix. So far, it's been quite an entertaining weekend, with plenty of excitement both in the practice and qualifying sessions. Nicky Hayden, the fan favorite and winner of the 2005 and 2006 races, put his bike into the dirt during the practice session on Saturday morning and managed to only qualify eighth in his Ducati.

Dominating the weekend so far is the Fiat Yamaha duo of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo. Lorenzo was fastest in both sessions and captured the pole, but crashed twice during qualifying and was taken to the medical center with a dislocated shoulder and a bruised right foot. With Lorenzo in doubt for the race and third place qualifier Casey Stoner suffering a crash as well, it looks as though Rossi is likely to defend his win from last year and extend his points lead in the championship. Be sure to browse through our high-res gallery below, and check back for more updates from the race weekend.

Photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.

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