Rea Recovers to Beat Sykes at Laguna Seca

Jonathan Rea took another step towards a second World Superbike Championship with his first ever victory at Laguna Seca in race one. The Ulsterman recovered from two mistakes at the Corkscrew to see off teammate Tom Sykes while home favourite Nicky Hayden claimed a popular podium finish in third.

After claiming a seventh pole from nine rounds, all eyes were on Sykes and despite being outdragged by Rea on the approach to turn two, the Yorkshireman forced his way back into the lead on the exit of the corner. Chaz Davies moved straight into second on the leading Aruba Ducati and was looking dangerous on the tail of the no.66.

The Welshman dived past Sykes to snatch the lead on lap four, his block pass allowing Rea to also power past the former leader, but any hopes Chaz had of repeating his 2015 double disappeared at turn six as the front end of the Panigale gave way at the high-speed left-hander, sending him sliding into retirement. As if that wasn’t bad enough for Ducati, Davide Giugliano crashed out of third at the bottom of the Corkscrew eight laps later.

The iconic corner also caught out Rea on lap seventeen and although the championship leader stayed aboard his ZX-10R, Sykes was able to sweep past and regain the lead. The Kawasaki battle was settled six laps from the finish though with Rea repeating Davies’ earlier move at turn three and this time, Sykes would have no answer.

Hayden took advantage of the Ducati disasters to take third despite a last-corner lunge from his Honda teammate Michael van der Mark. The Dutchman followed him home in fourth with Alex Lowes and Lorenzo Savadori close behind in fifth and sixth respectively. Jordi Torres took seventh for Althea BMW ahead of Xavi Fores and Alex de Angelis while Niccolo Canepa rounded out the top ten on the second PATA Yamaha.


WorldSBK 2016: US Round – Race One Result

11. Jonathan ReaKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team35:18.18025
266. Tom SykesKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team+0.81920
369. Nicky HaydenHondaHonda World Superbike Team+12.29616
460. Michael van der MarkHondaHonda World Superbike Team+13.06713
522. Alex LowesYamahaPata Yamaha Official WSBK Team+13.33511
632. Lorenzo SavadoriApriliaIodaRacing Team+13.81610
781. Jordi TorresBMWAlthea BMW Racing Team+15.5419
812. Xavi ForesDucatiBarni Racing Team+15.8388
915. Alex de AngelisApriliaIodaRacing Team+19.9997
1059. Niccolo CanepaYamahaPata Yamaha Official WSBK Team+22.8326
112. Leon CamierMV AgustaMV Agusta Reparto Corse+24.0655
1213. Anthony WestKawasakiPedercini Racing+28.9024
1325. Josh BrookesBMWMilwaukee BMW+39.9573
1417. Karel AbrahamBMWMilwaukee BMW+46.5522
1540. Roman RamosKawasakiTeam GoEleven+55.7911
169. Dominic SchmitterKawasakiGrillini Racing Team+59.021
1756. Peter SebestyenYamahaTeam Toth+1 Lap
18119. Pawel SzkopekYamahaTeam Toth+1 Lap
NC4. Gianluca VizzielloKawasakiGrillini Racing Team+9 Laps
NC11. Saeed Al SulaitiKawasakiPedercini Racing+9 Laps
NC34. Davide Racing – Ducati+13 Laps
NC35. Raffaele de RosaBMWAlthea BMW Racing Team+13 Laps
NC7. Chaz Racing – Ducati+21 Laps
NC61. Fabio MenghiDucatiVFT Racing+25 Laps