Sykes edges out Rea for second place as Giugliano and Torres complete top 5
Chaz Davies has won the opening race of the day at Laguna Seca after a lights-to-flag display that saw the British rider take the win by 1.798secs at the line.
After several days of sunshine on the Central Coast of California, raceday at Laguna Seca for the GEICO Motorcycle US Round, the ninth of the 2015 eni FIM Superbike World Championship season dawned with thunder and rain greeting the WorldSBK riders.
Victory under tricky conditions
A wet warm-up saw the riders take to the track for the first time with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) fastest in the tricky conditions but thankfully by the time race 1 was scheduled to start the sun was shining again and the track had started to dry.
Davies made the perfect start, taking the hole shot before opening up a 1.6secs lead at the end of lap 5. Despite the Kawasaki pairing of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea giving chase they were unable to reel in the Aruba.it Racing Ducati rider who romped to the victory, his sixth career-win and the second-ever for the Panigale R machine.
Sykes and Rea, respectively
At the flag and after a tense, race-long duel second and third went to Sykes and Rea, respectively, the pair pushing each other to limit throughout the whole encounter. Rea’s third place is ironically his ‘worst’ result of the season.
Davide Giugiano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team) finished a lonely fourth after regrouping from a poor start, the Italian who started on the front row eventually getting the better of Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) after spending a significant amount of laps trying to pass the Spaniard.
Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) inherited sixth after Leon Haslam fell off his Aprilia on lap 21, while reigning Champion Sylvain Guintoli powered the Pata Honda to seventh ahead of his team mate and reigning World Supersport champion Michael van der Mark.
Leandro Mercado impressed in ninth aboard the Barni Racing Ducati, the Argentine rider recovering from a huge crash earlier in the weekend.
Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) rode to a solid tenth place finish, with Randy de Puniet (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) and Roman Ramos (Team Go Eleven) completing the top 12.
Leon Haslam scored three points after nursing the Aprilia to the finish ahead of youngest rider in the field Christophe Ponsson (Team Pedercini). Gianluca Vizziello (Grillini Racing) scored his first WorldSBK point with 15th.
Althea Racing had a difficult race with both Niccolò Canepa and Matteo Baiocco suffering technical problems at the start.
WorldSBK Laguna Seca - Race 1
1 - Chaz Davies Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team
2 - Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team +1.798
3 - Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team +2.107