Jonathan Rea punished Chaz Davies for a costly mistake at the Corkscrew as he claimed his 61st career WorldSBK victory at Laguna Seca. The reigning champion turned the tables on Davies who had earlier taken pole position, seeing off the Ducati rider by just under three seconds with Alex Lowes completing the podium for Yamaha.
Davies may have taken the early morning headlines with pole position but all eyes were on the two factory Kawasakis next to him on the front row, hot on the heels of their Brno collision and the feud that followed. However, Tom Sykes would be overtaken by Rea immediately off the start line and that would signal the start of a chastening slide down the order for the 2013 champion.
At the front, the race quickly became a straight head-to-head between the top two in the championship and ultimately, an error from Davies on lap seven opened the door for Rea. With the Welshman outbreaking himself at the top of the Corkscrew, Rea powered past to take a lead that he wouldn’t relinquish, eventually shaking the Ducati from his tail in the closing stages.
Fresh from his Brno victory, Alex Lowes took a second consecutive podium in third ahead of Eugene Laverty who matched his best result of the season in fourth, earning race two pole in the process. Marco Melandri got the better of Xavi Fores to take fifth with both making light work of Sykes who eventually slipped to seventh, only narrowly holding off Michael van der Mark.
Jordi Torres was ninth for MV Agusta while Jake Gagne gave the home supporters cause for celebration by finishing a career-best tenth.
WorldSBK 2018: Geico US Round: Race One
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