Laguna Seca WSBK: Rea outduels Davies for victory

Jonathan Rea eased to victory in the opening race of the US World Superbike round at Laguna Seca after an early battle with second-placed Chaz Davies.

Poleman Davies held the lead on the run into the Andretti Hairpin at the start of the 25-lap race, with Rea nipping ahead of Kawasaki teammate Tom Sykes for second.

Rea attempted to take the lead at the final corner, but ran in too hot and Davies used his superior drive from the turn to reclaim the position as they started lap two.

Davies and Rea ran astern for the next five laps, easing two seconds clear of Sykes, who had Yamaha's Alex Lowes and the Milwaukee Aprilia of Eugene Laverty reeling him in.

A mistake for Davies at the Corkscrew allowed Rea to scythe up the inside and relieve the Ducati rider of the lead on lap seven, and the Ulsterman proceeded to keep Davies within seven tenths of a second up until the final few tours.

Davies managed to get to within six tenths of Rea with five laps to go, but a mistake put his deficit up to close to two seconds, which gave Rea a comfortable run to the chequered flag for his seventh win of the season.

Lowes crossed the line a distant third for his third rostrum appearance of the year on the Yamaha, with Laverty two seconds down in fourth. He will start race two from pole.

Marco Melandri recovered from a lowly 10th on the grid to snatch fifth away from Ducati stablemate Xavi Fores on the Barni bike in the closing stages, while Sykes slid to seventh at the end.

Michael van der Mark (Yamaha) put Sykes' seventh under pressure in the closing stages, but was just half a second shy at the line.

Jordi Torres got his MV Agusta home in ninth, while Jake Gagne ended his home race 10th on the sole remaining Honda, after teammate Leon Camier retired with seven laps to go and Triple M Racing's PJ Jacobsen was punted off at the Andretti Hairpin by Leandro Mercado (Orelac Kawasaki).

Mercado crashed at the Corkscrew just moments after the Jacobsen collision, while Toprak Razgatlioglu (Puccetti Kawasaki) suffered a nasty highside at the same corner with six laps to go, and was taken to the medical centre for checks.

Lorenzo Savadori fell from his Aprilia at the final corner on Lap 1, then remounted and benefitted from the attrition around him to finish 14th ahead of fellow crasher Loris Baz (Althea BMW).

Wildcard Josh Herrin was running inside the points when his Attack Performance Yamaha developed an issue with six laps to go. Fellow WSBK rookie Karel Hanika scored points on his debut in 13th for Guandalini Yamaha.

Rea's victory means he further extends his championship lead to by five points to 70 over Davies, while van der Mark holds onto third, albeit 91 points adrift.

Race results:

Pos.#RiderBikeLapsGap
1 1 united_kingdom Jonathan Rea  Kawasaki 25 35'15.071
2 7 united_kingdom Chaz Davies  Ducati 25 2.978
3 22 united_kingdom Alex Lowes  Yamaha 25 12.212
4 50 ireland Eugene Laverty  Aprilia 25 14.309
5 33 italy Marco Melandri  Ducati 25 16.712
6 12 spain Xavi Fores  Ducati 25 18.929
7 66 united_kingdom Tom Sykes  Kawasaki 25 25.638
8 60 netherlands Michael van der Mark  Yamaha 25 26.211
9 81 spain Jordi Torres  MV Agusta 25 31.579
10 45 united_states Jake Gagne  Honda 25 38.084
11 68 colombia Yonny Hernandez  Kawasaki 25 44.971
12 40 spain Roman Ramos  Kawasaki 25 45.412
13 98 czech_republic Karel Hanika  Yamaha 25 50.768
14 32 italy Lorenzo Savadori  Aprilia 25 1'06.063
15 76 france Loris Baz  BMW 24 1 lap
Ret 54 turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu  Kawasaki 19 6 laps
Ret  57 united_states  Josh Herrin Yamaha 18 7 laps
Ret  2 united_kingdom Leon Camier  Honda 17 8 laps
Ret  36 argentina Leandro Mercado  Kawasaki 10 15 laps
Ret  99 united_states PJ Jacobsen  Honda 10 15 laps
Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series World Superbike
Event Laguna Seca
Track Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Drivers Chaz Davies , Jonathan Rea
Teams Kawasaki Racing
Article type Race report