2017 Laguna Seca World Superbike Race 2 Notes

Kawasaki's Jonathan Rea goes into the summer break with momentum on his side and one hand on the WorldSBK title after claiming his ninth win of the season.

Starting from the third row of the grid Rea and his Kawasaki teammate, Tom Sykes, made quick progress through the pack with Sykes leading the early stages. When the opportunity presented itself Rea pounced and took the lead from his teammate before ultimately opening a comfortable winning margin.

"The team gave me an incredible bike today and we made a brave change in the setting which worked amazing,” said Rea. “To have this result and to go into the summer break is a really nice way to do that, its a long flight home but a massive thanks for my team for building a good bike. I see the Hayden family here this weekend and its impossible not to be here and think of him and I want to dedicate this to him and his family."

It was an emotional victory for Rea and the aftermath of it saw his elation clear for all to see. Having endured a relatively tough time of late, a tyre failure at Donington Park and crashing with Chaz Davies in Misano, but now goes into the summer break with a 59 point lead over Sykes.

"Yeah you've got to be happy,” admitted Sykes after finishing second. “Today I tried my hardest but today we missed that little bit more the lap times stayed consistent and we were much faster than yesterday, we were missing some traction and every corner it added up. We tried to make the most of it but it wasn't to be and now we will try to get to the bottom of our problem."

For Chaz Davies, winner of yesterday's Race 1, the Ducati rider was hamstrung by a lack of initial progress in the race. Whereas Rea and Sykes hit the front immediately it was a different story for Davies and it took him longer to get past the midfield runners. While he had a faster pace than Sykes in the closing stage there was simply too much ground to make up.

"Like some other races this year, Kawasaki are able to make a really good start, and there was little I could do,” said the Welshman. “At one point Tom was on the radar, I thought that I would be able to catch him but I ran out of laps. I'm very happy with this weekend and after Misano, this is exactly what we needed and now we can look forward to the summer break."


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I find it very frustrating to watch WSBK at the moment; it has so much potential, but the reality is that the only person Jonathan Rea is in competition with is himself. This series urgently needs new rules that suit the series and not the manufacturers.

Any complaints from them, point them to all the whining that came from Honda, et al, about having rules forced on them by Dorna in MotoGP a few years back. They sure as hell aren't complaining now!

A few years ago, WSBK was more exciting than MotoGP. But it seems to have reversed.

It's the same 3 guys fighting each race - the top 3 have take 79.17% of the podiums through the first 16 races. Add in Melandri, and those 4 have taken 93.75% of them. So unless Rea starts falling off the bike, or Melandri starts joining the mix and finishing ahead of Rea, it'll be 3 championships in a row for Rea. Sykes has finished in front of Rea twice this season (taking 34 points from Rea), and Chaz has finished ahead of Rea 5 times (taking only 28 points from Rea).

The 3 non-Ducati and Kawi podiums have all come in race 1 (Lowes and Haslam at Donington, and Lowes at Misano) showing that the reverse grid has done nothing. All race 2 wins have come from grid spots 8, 9 or 10.

They need to do something to even the field. Besides making it more interesting for the spectators, you'd have to imagine the other manufacturers aren't willing to sink the $ into the series to race for 5th forever.

Apologies to the riders as they are putting it out there but not even the weekends highlight reels were exciting. Something is seriously wrong with this series. WSBK use to be so good-million dollar RC45's, tuned Ducati's that were so on the edge motors were rebuilt after each practice and loads of rider personalities. I live an hour from this track and couldn't be bothered.


Unless the television coverage:-

a) introduces split screens with 1 for the first 3 processional bikes (to be mostly ignored) & the 2nd for the following bikes actually racing or

b) ignores the front 3 bikes for 90% of the coverage

I cannot see much reason to watch WSBK. I enjoy watching the riding skills of these riders as much as anyone but there is only so much non-competitive riding I can take.

I agree with the aforementioned comments and note that Jamie Witham and his commentating colleague were also pointing out the futility of the current situation.

Kawaskai have done a great job in World Superbike, but apart from Ducati, the only other front runner and proper works team, are likely to be a victim of their own success if the rules are not changed to allow a more even playing field.

I recorded both races and especially during the second race, found myself fast forwarding when it became obvious none of the three at the front were going to make much of an impression on each other. Not great TV, although I'm sure the riders would not see it that way as they descended the corkscrew !

The reverse grid is a joke when the top riders are basically at the front halfway round the first lap,so more fundamental rule changes are needed to maintain both team, manufacturer and viewer interest.



It's not difficult. At the minute the Stock 1000 class has much more even racing and parity between the manufacturers, yet it gets buried or removed from the TV coverage altogether. I'd rather watch the Stock 1000 race than the main WSB races at the minute.

Beyond that, sort the marketing out to get the fans back through the gates again.

I can see why they tried the Saturday race, to give more press coverage earlier in the weekend. I can see why they have tried the semi-reverse grid - it does at least make the opening few laps a bit more interesting. But neither of those things have addressed the real issue of a couple of manufacturers pouring a lot of money into a couple of teams and the privateers - who should be the entire field - being well off the pace.