As the GEICO US Round drew to a close on Sunday afternoon at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca it was World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) who took the victory, with Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) also on the podium.
Rea came from eighth on the grid to take a dominant win over the rest of the field with the KRT man beating his nearest challenger – teammate Sykes – by 2.887s, to open up a 59-point advantage at the head of the standings going into the summer break. It is the Northern Irishman’s second win at the American venue and he dedicated the victory to the late Nicky Hayden.
Davies did his best to pursue Sykes for second place over the final laps but just could not catch the Yorkshireman and had to settle for third, following his comeback win in Race 1.
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) completed the top five in the hot conditions at the spectacular Californian track.
Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) bounced back immediately from his Race 1 DNF for a good sixth place finish, with another Aprilia equipped rider Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) in seventh.
Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) was just behind Laverty and Mercado on the Aprilia RSV4 RF in eighth place, with the top ten completed by Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team colleagues Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark.
Raffaele de Rosa (Althea BMW Racing Team), Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) and Ayrton Badovini (Grillini Racing Team) all suffered crashes, whilst there was an early retirement for Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse).
After the summer break the 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship riders will return to action at the Prosecco DOC German Round over the 18th-20th August weekend.
P1 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team)
“The team gave me an incredible bike today and we made a brave change in the setting which worked amazing, to have this result and to go into the summer break is a really nice way to do that, its a long flight home but a massive thanks for my team for building a good bike. I see the Hayden family here this weekend and its impossible not to be here and think of him and I want to dedicate this to him and his family.”
P2 – Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team)
“Yeah you’ve got to be happy, today I tried my hardest, today we missed that little bit more the lap times stayed consistent and we were much faster than yesterday, we were missing some traction and every corner it added up. We tried to make the most of it but it wasn’t to be and now we will try to get to the bottom of our problem.”
P3 – Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Team)
“Like some other races this year, Kawasaki are able to make a really good start, and there was little I could do. At one point Tom was on the radar, I thought that I would be able to catch him but I ran out of laps. I’m very happy with this weekend and after Misano, this is exactly what we needed and now we can look forward to the summer break.”
#USWorldSBK at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca: Race 2
1. Jonathan Rea Kawasaki
2. Tom Sykes Kawasaki +2.887
3. Chaz Davies Ducati +4.847
Championship Standings after Race 2, Round 8
1. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki (341 points)
2. Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki (282 points)
3. Chaz Davies (GBR) Ducati (226 points)