Carbon copy of race one podium with Sykes and Rea on the remaining steps.
Chaz Davies has made history at Laguna Seca by taking the first double win for the Panigale and with it, wins number 11 and 12 for the Italian manufacturer at Laguna Seca, California. For Davies it was an almost perfect weekend with him taking Pole Position, both race wins and the fastest lap in the day’s earlier race. This is Davies’ second WorldSBK double and the first one for Ducati since Imola 2012.
Once again leading from the start, the Welshman tried to pull away immediately but unlike race one he was closely followed in the early stages by the Kawasaki Racing Team pairing of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea, with Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) running strongly in fourth.
Carbon copy podium
Behind Davies at the flag were Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea, the podium in race 2 being a carbon copy of the first encounter.
Aprilia Racing riders Jordi Torres and Leon Haslam were fourth and fifth, respectively, after a long and enthralling duel. Both riders finished comfortably ahead of Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia), who had a lonely ride to sixth after failing to finish in the first encounter.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) got the better of Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing) in their hectic on-track tussle for seventh with Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing) once again ninth ahead of Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse).
The remaining point scorers were Randy de Puniet (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Roman Ramos (Team Go Eleven), Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing), Gianluca Vizziello (Grillini Racing) and Christophe Ponsson (Team Pedercini).
As the rain began to fall at the start of lap two Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team) was caught off guard, and the Italian crashed heavily at Turn 6; he was taken to the Medical Centre for precautionary checks. The Italian rider escaped major injuries having been diagnosed with only right knee and heel contusions.
It was an unfortunate race for the reigning Champion Sylvain Guintoli, who was closely tailing Alex Lowes when the Briton decided to slow down to enter the pits in order to go for an early tyre change. A collision was almost inevitable and, despite returning to the track, Lowes had to retire shortly after, as the decision did not work in his favour.
Despite losing a handful of points from Tom Sykes, Jonathan Rea still holds a solid 125-point lead over his team mate Tom Sykes, while hero of the day Chaz Davies has consolidated the third place in the standings with four rounds remaining. WorldSBK action will resume in a fortnight’s time at Sepang.
Chaz Davies #7 - Aruba.it Racing - Ducati SBK Team
Race 1 1st Race 2 1st
“I’m really, really happy with these results, and we’ve definitely seen the fruits of our labour here. The track here perhaps limits our weak points and plays to our strengths, and we were able to put together two really good races that went almost exactly to plan. I didn’t think we’d be able to lap in 1.23s but I was able to make some really quick first laps in Race 1. We made a few small tweaks for race 2 and I think those changes were useful. I took a lot of risks with the rain but luckily it stopped and things went smoothly from there to the finish line. I thank my entire team, Ducati and our sponsors - it’s been a really solid weekend.”
Tom Sykes #66 - Kawasaki Racing Team
Race 1 - 2nd Race 2 - 2nd
“Jonathan and I had a great battle for the entire first race. I had plus zero on my pit board, so I just had to manage the situation. Overall I am happy with second position considering the circumstances. We made two small changes for race two and it was strange because at the beginning I felt I had a really good bike set-up but in the rain Chaz took a couple of more risks. It paid off because he made a big gap and I think that was probably the deciding factor in the race. We had a couple of warnings and I was just not able to stick with Chaz. Overall, I am fairly satisfied but we were just not close enough. Two second places are acceptable but another rider took the prizes this weekend.”
Jonathan Rea #65 - Kawasaki Racing Team
Race 1 - 3rd Race 2 - 3rd
“I tried a lot but there was nothing I could do to go through on Tom in race one. He also had a good pace but I am sure I had a higher pace. I just could not through him. He was riding quite smart. In the final corner I was a little bit behind and it was one of those where you had to be clever as well, because 16 points is a lot better than zero. We also had a good pace in race two but it was a little bit my fault because I made too many mistakes. Tom and I both lost a lot of time to Chaz when the rain was coming but we ended up with a really good pace together. Today we played the long game a little bit and third is where I could finish.”
WorldSBK Laguna Seca - Race 2
1 - Chaz Davies Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team
2 - Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team +1.406
3 - Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team +1.982
Standings (9 of 13 rounds completed)
1 - Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team 407
2 - Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team 282 (-125)
3 - Chaz Davies Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team 263 (-144)