WSBK : Sublime Davies takes Race 1 victory / Commanding Race 2 win for Rea at Laguna
Returning Welshman takes win with excellent ride at Laguna, ahead of fellow podium finishers Rea and Sykes
At the GEICO US Round on Saturday afternoon in sunny conditions at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) recorded a superb win as he returned from his Misano injuries in style, whilst Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) were also on the podium.
The leading three could not be caught by the rest of the field as they charged away at the head of the race over the opening laps, with Davies and Rea pulling away from pole man Sykes in the final third of the race. With Rea right on his tail Davies held his nerve over the last few laps to notch a superb Race 1 win as he put his back and thumb injuries from Round 7 firmly behind him.
Davies celebrated the win by holding up a number 69 flag in tribute to the late Nicky Hayden, following the tragic recent passing of the Kentucky Kid.
The Ducati rider’s final winning margin over Rea was 1.2s, with Sykes a further +4.596s behind his Northern Irish colleague in third place.
After 25 exciting laps of the Laguna Seca track Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) crossed the line in fourth, with Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) close behind him in fifth.
Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team), Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) and Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) completed the top ten.
A special mention must go to Jake Gagne who got a chance to ride for the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, the American scoring a point to give the home fans something to cheer as they also fondly paid their own tributes to former Honda man Hayden.
It was not a great day for Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) or Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) as they both crashed out, but they will each get a chance to make amends on Sunday.
World Champion takes Sunday win at #USWorldSBK round, with Sykes and Davies also on the podium
As the GEICO US Round drew to a close on Sunday afternoon at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca it was World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) who took the victory, with Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) also on the podium.
Rea came from eighth on the grid to take a dominant win over the rest of the field with the KRT man beating his nearest challenger – teammate Sykes – by 2.887s, to open up a 59-point advantage at the head of the standings going into the summer break. It is the Northern Irishman’s second win at the American venue and he dedicated the victory to the late Nicky Hayden.
Davies did his best to pursue Sykes for second place over the final laps but just could not catch the Yorkshireman and had to settle for third, following his comeback win in Race 1.
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) and Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) completed the top five in the hot conditions at the spectacular Californian track.
Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) bounced back immediately from his Race 1 DNF for a good sixth place finish, with another Aprilia equipped rider Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) in seventh.
Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) was just behind Laverty and Mercado on the Aprilia RSV4 RF in eighth place, with the top ten completed by Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team colleagues Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark.
Raffaele de Rosa (Althea BMW Racing Team), Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) and Ayrton Badovini (Grillini Racing Team) all suffered crashes, whilst there was an early retirement for Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse).
After the summer break the 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship riders will return to action at the Prosecco DOC German Round over the 18th-20th August weekend.