WorldSBK championship standings after race 1 at Laguna Seca:
World Superbike race one at Laguna Seca took place on a sunny day in California, with a bunch of tin whistlers leading an anthem singer in typical American style. The anti-clockwise track is one of the shorter ones on the calendar and it lacks long straights, limiting the top speed to under 260km/h.
The Grand Prix of Catalonia in Barcelona may not have been a classic race, it did throw up plenty of talking points, and in the latest episode of the Paddock Pass Podcast, Neil Morrison and David Emmett discuss what went on at the race at Montmeló. We obviously have to start with Jorge Lorenzo's win on the Ducati, his second in a row and reminiscent of his years at Yamaha.
Superpole One was contested by ten riders, including wildcard Josh Herrin. Michael van der Mark and Loris Baz were the favourites for promotion going into the session, having qualified eleventh and twelfth quickest respectively.
Press releases from the first day of practice at Laguna Seca:
#USWorldSBK Day 1: Consistent Rea ends day one on top
Reigning world champion fastest in all three of Friday's sessions despite crash
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was unstoppable today
Jonathan Rea ended the session and the day quickest, in spite of an early crash in this last session. Marco Melandri improved on his earlier time to go second quickest, qualifying for Superpole two ahead of Tom Sykes.
Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes topped the sheets, ahead of four different machines, with Ducati, Yamaha, MV Agusta and Aprilia all featuring in the top six.
Jonathan Rea set the morning's quickest time ahead of Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty. Tom Sykes and Chaz Davies joined the top three under 1'24 and the top eight riders were all within a second of Rea's time.
MotoMatters.com, in association with Motor Sport Magazine, is proud to feature the rider insights of 1983 and 1985 500cc world champion Freddie Spencer. After every MotoGP race, Fast Freddie will share what he saw and learned from the race.
In the latest episode of his video blog, Freddie Spencer shares his thoughts on Jorge Lorenzo's second consecutive victory on the Ducati, this time at the Circuit de Catalunya in Montmeló, near Barcelona. First, Fast Freddie gives his thoughts on the track, and what it takes to ride there, and more importantly, what it takes to succeed.
Kalex issued the following press release after their test with the Triumph Moto2 engine and Magneti Marelli electronics:
PROMISING CONCLUSION OF FIRST TEST WITH 2019 RACE SPEC TRIUMPH ENGINE
From this week’s Tuesday to Thursday, the German chassis manufacturer KALEX Engineering continued its developing process and preparations for the next season with a three-day test at Spain’s MotorLand Aragón circuit.
Press releases from the organizers and teams ahead of this weekend's World Superbike races at Laguna Seca:
Land of the free and home of the brave: will you be there?
WorldSBK heads to California for Round Eight of a sensational season
Two days after the Barcelona round of MotoGP had completed, some of the Moto2 riders were back testing again. At the Motorland Aragon circuit, a number of Moto2 teams gathered for a private test. Alongside them, the Moto2 chassis manufacturers were there for the first roll out of their 2019 chassis, housing the Triumph 765 Moto2 engine and Magneti Marelli electronics.
Three of the current Moto2 chassis manufacturers were there with their test riders. KTM had Julian Simon and Ricky Cardus, NTS had Alex De Angelis, and Kalex had official test rider Jesko Raffin, and to some surprise, Jonas Folger, who withdrew from the Monster Tech3 Yamaha MotoGP team at the start of this year.
The test was important for the manufacturers, as it was not just a chance to try their chassis with the Triumph engines, but also to test them with the Magneti Marelli electronics. The spec Magneti Marelli electronics package is significantly more sophisticated than Superstock package used with the Honda CBR600RR engines currently being used.
The US Round of WorldSBK sees the paddock decamp to the West Coast and for the Superbike riders this is certainly a favorite round of the campaign. The challenging Laguna Seca circuit is unique and rightfully regarded as one of the most action packed and thrilling on the calendar. The lap might be short but there's no rest for the wicked in the Northern California hills.
The lap begins with one of the most difficult corners of the entire season. While the Corkscrew gets the attention, it's Turn 1 over a blind crest that grabs the attention of riders. There's a variety of lines on offer depending on bike setup with gearing a key concern. In WorldSBK gear ratios are fixed for the season and with the deduction in revs for 2018 this will be even more crucial. We see a lot of variety at Laguna Seca with regards to gear patterns, and this will be even more exaggerated this season.
Laguna Seca is one of the world's most famous race tracks and it could play host to a memorable race this weekend. Yamaha are on a roll, Kawasaki are in the midst of what could become a difficult break-up, and Ducati are looking to recapture lost form at a venue of past glories.
Can Yamaha keep it up?
Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes have combined to win three of the last four WorldSBK races but few circuits have uncovered the R1's shortcomings in recent years like Laguna Seca. A best result of fifth since 2016 has seen the US become a round to forget in the past. However" the progress made this year could change their fortunes and see the PATA squad head to California like the prospectors of 200 years ago. There's glory in the hills of Northern California and their confidence could see Yamaha spring a surprise again.
The vital importance of straight-line braking in MotoGP’s Michelin era explained and the big question: can Lorenzo win the title for Ducati?
Over the years there have been many weird and wonderful world championships, but this year’s may be the weirdest and most wonderful of all.
There’s a three-time MotoGP world champion struggling to find his way with a recalcitrant motorcycle. His lack of results cause him to fall out with the factory management, so he looks elsewhere for employment, but none of the other factories want him. There are rumours of retirement and talk of a ride with an independent team, which doesn’t even exist. But this seems his only option.