Laguna Seca WSBK: Rea scores Race 1 win as both Ducatis crash
Jonathan Rea extended his championship lead to 71 points after winning the first World Superbike race at Laguna Seca, which saw both Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano retire.
Having had the best start at the front, Rea took the lead at Turn 1 but he only completed Lap 1 in third place as he was quickly demoted by pole-sitter Tom Sykes and Chaz Davies.
With the top three slowly separating itself from the rest of the field, Davies made an aggressive move, which also allowed Rea to sneak past, to grab the lead.
However, Davies could not even hold on to his lead for a lap as he lost control of his bike and crashed out.
The Welshman's retirement was followed by another Ducati in Davide Giugliano joining the Kawasaki duo in the first half of the race but the Italian ended up having an incident at the same corner Davies fell.
That promoted local rider Nicky Hayden to third closely followed by the trio of Alex Lowes, Lorenzo Savadori and Michael van der Mark.
At the front, Rea was temporarily able to build a lead of a second but a counter attack from Sykes saw him close the gap.
Moreover, Sykes got the lead when Rea ran wide and was forced to cut the Corkscrew chicane.
Rea recovered from his mistake by making a move at Turn 3 and once again quickly stretching his advantage of over a second.
Maintaining his lead, Rea crossed the line in first ahead of Sykes with Hayden scoring a podium finish on home soil.
Hayden ended up just ahead of his teammate Van der Mark, the Dutchman fighting his way up from 11th.
Lowes and Savadori completed the top six, followed by Spanish duo Xavi Fores and Jordi Torres.
MotoGP convert Alex de Angelis took his second top 10 finish of the season in ninth, ahead of Yamaha's Niccolo Canepa.
Laguna Seca WSBK: Sykes continues qualifying streak with fourth straight pole
Tough Race 1 for the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team in Laguna Seca