After the weekend on American soil, Sykes is still the World Superbike Championship leader with a 23 point advantage over Laverty
Laguna Seca (US), Sunday 29 September 2013 – Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) has won the second race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in spectacular fashion in front of 41.175 excited spectators. After passing Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Team) at Turn 5 with two laps to go, the Irishman made the exact same move on Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) on the following lap, breaking the spell that was holding the Brit at the front for most of the race.
Eugene Laverty: “It was not an easy race. I'd like to thank my team because they made some set-up adjustments to my bike that worked perfectly. I pushed to the limit on the last lap, Davide (Giugliano) and Tom (Sykes) were really strong but I'm happy for the win. It was an unexpected result, but now I'm now second in the standings ahead of two very different rounds. I would like to dedicate this win to my track engineer Marco Bertolatti, who’s just become father."
Sykes, on the other hand, tried everything he could to defend his position under braking, but once he lost the lead he was passed by both Giugliano and Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), crossing the line in fifth place. The works BMW rider successfully stayed ahead of the Championship leader for third, while Giugliano did the best he could to snatch his first WSBK race win, eventually settling for second.
Tom Sykes: “It was great to win yesterday and I led for a long time today but that was the first time we have struggled all weekend. We were six or seven tenths off our best times in the same track conditions and we have to think about why that was. We know what our potential was here again today. We can keep improving and we have a couple of good circuits coming up so we will move on with confidence. In less than a week’s time we will be in France and doing it all over again.”
Sylvain Guintoli did not manage to catch the leading pack to be in contention for the win, but the end result today helped him stay in touch with Sykes in the standings, as he ended up fifth ahead of fellow Frenchman Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), Toni Elias (Red Devils Aprilia) wildcard Roger Hayden (Michael Jordan Motorsports Suzuki) and David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team).
A disappointing race for Team Ducati Alstare, as both Niccolò Canepa, who running 4th, and team mate Ayrton Badovini suffered crashes, while Welshman Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) had to pull in due to a technical problem on the second lap.
After today's results, Sykes is still the Championship leader with a 23 point advantage over Laverty who has jumped to second position in the overall standings. Guintoli is now third, a point behind his team mate while Melandri is now 42 points short from the lead.