Got to wondering how Superbikes would compare with MotoGP bikes on the same track/same day. So I looked at the best lap times for each at the recent Laguna Seca race. The track was apparently torn up a bit before the Superbikes ran so they had a bit of a disadvantage but I was surprised that there was only about 3 seconds difference:
Superbike - Tommy Hayden 1:26.100
MotoGP - Dani Pedrosa 1:23.158
Given all the cost and technology in the MotoGP bikes I was expecting a bigger difference.
As Chuck said, Laguna is relatively tight for GP bikes...but the funny thing is, 20 yrs ago they "tightened" Laguna's original layout for the GP series to run there!...talk about irony!
This year Bostrom got a ride on the back of Mamola's GP 2 seater...his quoted observation was that (and I'll paraphrase) "the GP bikes keep pulling down the front straight...the AMA Superbikes run start to run out of steam about 1/2 way" (as near as I can remember his words).
The pole positions for both Series was Spies with a 1:24.9 and Vermeulen with a 1:23.1. I think those were both set on Saturday.
Relatively close times...not only considering the technology, but the weight differences too. Still, that's a friggin' fast lap at that track.
Remember both the gp bike and superbike have the same displacement, both use high dollar wheels, suspension and the latest in tire technology. Don't kid yourself, superbikes are not low budget machines. I recall that Colin Edwards RC51 superbike cost $750K. In GP's 1 second usually covers the top ten spots. The difference between the GP bikes and superbikes is nearly 2 seconds (based on the qualifying times posted) which is a huge gap.
Kind of off subject but I was watching the Monterey Historic Races on Speed and they ran a current day F1 car at Laguna Seca to see if they could break the lap record. It ran a 1:06.6. Now obviously they have much more grip and stopping power but that is a big difference. Bikes still rule though.