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WSBK Round 9 – Laguna Seca | SPORT | WSBK

Race 1
Rea Wins as Bautista crashes out

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) scored a clear and confident Race One win at Laguna Seca as his main championship rival Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) crashed yet again.

Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati) used the ‘X’ rear tyre to take second place, 5.693 seconds behind Rea, as Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) finished third for yet another podium.

Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) also used the X rear tyre to finish fourth, having lost the tow of the leading group in the early laps.

Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) came from behind to claim fifth place, easing away from long-time top five-man Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki), who finished sixth.

Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was seventh and Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) eighth.

Italian riders Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha) and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Barni Racing Team Ducati) were ninth and tenth respectively.

Bautista had set a new lap record behind Rea and Davies on lap three – a 1’22.945 – but then crashed shortly after while trail braking into turn five. He got going again but finished 17th. Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team) was the first faller in the race.

Eugene Laverty (Team GoEleven Ducati) was 11th, but local one-off rider JD Beach (Attack Performance Estenson Yamaha) was forced to retire.

Superpole Race

Rea wins again while Bautista Falls Again

A high-drama and restarted Tissot Superpole race was eventually cut from ten to eight laps, after a red flag stoppage when Alessandro Delbianco (Althea MIE Racing Team Honda) and JD Beach (Attack Performance Estenson Yamaha) clashed going into The Corkscrew, with each crashing heavily.

Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) was already out after contact with Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) into the tight left at Turn Two, leaving the field open for eventual race winner Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), who now takes pole for Race Two as well as a dozen more championship points.

Bautista no-scored as he could not make the restart as his repaired bike sat waiting for him in the shell-shocked official Ducati garage.

Rea, Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati) and Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) led the eight-lap race, with only Rea not on an ‘X’ rear tyre for the eight-lapper.

The top three finishing order was Rea, Davies and Sykes, with Razgatlioglu, Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) finishing off the top six.

Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) got by the impressive Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) for seventh, as Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was ninth and Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) tenth. Sixteen riders finished.

Race 2

Davies Wins For First Time In Over A Year

Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati) won his first WorldSBK race since Motorland Aragon in 2018, his first on the all-new Ducati V4R, and his 30th career WorldSBK win after taking the 25-lap final race at Laguna Seca in confident and determined form.

Davies led the early laps having opted for an ‘A’ rear tyre rather than the ‘X’ he used in the first long race on Saturday.

Eventual second-placed rider Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) was Davies shadow early on and started to pull himself forward for a time, but Davies continued his front-running pace as Rea lapped a couple of tenths per lap slower towards half race distance, and ended up 3.333 seconds down at the flag.

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) was third, for the second time this weekend, but he could not get up to the top riders after their early breakaway.

In a seemingly impossible turn of unfortunate events, Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) retired from Race Two, in the very early stages, having started from tenth on the grid after his Race One no-score. He left Laguna Seca 81 points behind Rea with a long summer break looming in his sights, and an injured left shoulder to deal with.

Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) placed fourth, after passing the early midfield leader Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) who held on using his ‘X’ rear tyre for fifth, with Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team) sixth.

Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) finished seventh, Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) and Torres another pleasing eighth.

Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha) closed in on the back of that fight to finish ninth.

The top ten was rounded out by Laguna rookie, Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Barni Racing Team Ducati). JD Beach (Attack Performance Estenson Yamaha) was 16th and just missed a championship point.

After a solid Laguna Seca round for Rea, he now sits 81 points ahead of championship rival Bautista

Davies, USA WSBK 2019.

Pics GnG

Words Gordon Richie