What a difference a few weeks can make. After Race 1 at Misano three weeks ago Chaz Davies was lying in the back of an ambulance with a fractured vertebra and today he was standing on top of the rostrum. The Welshman was the toast of Laguna Seca after what Davies confessed was “one of my best ever races.”
The lead up to the race was filled with questions of whether he'd be fit enough to race, but when the lights went out he was in the thick of things from the outset. Able to fight with Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea, the Ducati rider made a nuisance of himself in the early stages before pouncing at half distance to make a daring block pass into the Corkscrew.
With Sykes forced to shut off the throttle it opened the door for Rea to claim second, and from that point onwards the fight at the front was about hundredths of a second. Ultimately Davies had a better run of things in the second half of the race and was able to stretch out his lead, but with Rea ready to pounce on any mistake there was nothing that could be taken for granted.
Davies did make one mistake and it allowed Rea to take a run at him into the Rainey Curve but that nibble was all that the world champion had. With front grip issues Rea had to settle for second and Davies was back on the top step of the podium.
“This win means so much to me,” said Davies. “After everything that happened in Misano and having been unable to train for the last two weeks it was a really tough race. This is one of my best ever race wins and to be able to dedicate it to Nicky Hayden means a lot to me.”