09 Jul, 2017

WSBK USA: Rea dominates at Laguna to strengthen grip on WSBK title

A storming opening lap by Jonathan Rea spurs him on to his ninth WorldSBK win of 2017 as he takes a sizeable advantage into the summer break.

WSBK USA: Rea dominates at Laguna to strengthen grip on WSBK title
WSBK USA: Rea dominates at Laguna to strengthen grip on WSBK title
Jonathan Rea will take a sizeable 59 point lead into the summer break as victory in the second World Superbike Championship race of the weekend at Laguna Seca saw him move ever closer to a third consecutive title.

Having been forced to settle for second behind Chaz Davies in race one, Rea turned in a superlative performance on the Kawasaki ZX-10R by following team-mate Tom Sykes as they both hustled their way to the front of the field from their reverse grid positions by the end of the opening lap.

From here Rea wasted no time in dispatching of Sykes for the lead on the lap two and he wasn't troubled again thereafter, the eventual 2.8secs margin as he backed off across the line to his team-mate betraying an otherwise dominant performance by the Ulsterman.

Indeed, race one winner Davies might have had the pace to go with Rea but his route through the pack from his grid position would prove more troublesome, the Welshman taking until lap seven to clear Xavi Fores for third positon.

Though he would go in pursuit of Sykes and close the margin, the former champion had the measure of his countryman to seal Kawasaki's fifth 1-2 of the year and consolidate his second place in the standings.

Marco Melandri had a mistake early on for spoiling his chances of victory, the Italian fighting back to fourth place but finishing 17secs down on the lead.

After his bright start, Fores brought the privateer Barni Ducati home in fifth place, ahead of Eugene Laverty, who secured his third top six finish in four races in sixth position, ahead of fellow RSV4 riders Leandro Mercado and Lorenzo Savadori.

Alex Lowes won out in a tense battle with Yamaha team-mate Michael van der Mark to secure ninth and tenth respectively, while Stefan Bradl ended his weekend with another disappointing finish in 11th for Honda.

Still, it was a double points' finish for the Red Bull backed team as Jake Gagne notched up a digit in 15th place, behind Roman Ramos, Alex de Angelis and Randy Krummenacher.

Elsewhere there was disappointment for Althea BMW after Jordi Torres dropped his S1000RR whilst running sixth, his error coming just a lap on from a crash for his team-mate Raffaele de Rosa. Leon Camier was also a casualty, stopping with technical issues.


  • Challenger 10 Jul, 2017 07:35:38
    Now if we could just have the Tom Sykes for the whole race that we saw on the opening lap that would be great but as it is Rea is on another level when it comes to race craft from start to finish. As for the constant bleating from other teams about the regulations quite simply they need to get their $hit together and put in the effort becasue I don't remember such an outcry when Rea was on the Tenkate Honda. Now Rea is on a bike that allows him to showcase his skill suddenly it's all "unfair".
  • RiderDriver 10 Jul, 2017 00:55:24
    JR the best World superbike rider ever.... that's the bottom line.
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