The provisional 2017 World Superbike calendar has been released, but unlike the MotoGP calendar, which is unchanged, there are a couple of minor differences to the schedule. The World Superbike class will contest 13 rounds, just as they did in 2016, spread across three continents. Sepang and Jerez have been dropped, and Portimao makes a comeback.
Laguna Seca, USA
At Laguna Seca, our World Superbikes writer Kent Brockman caught up with reigning WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea, to ask about his season. In a frank interview, Rea talks about how he has adapted to the 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R, and the development path which produced that bike, and how it has come on since the start of the season. Rea also talks about the importance of his team, and surrounding yourself with people you can trust. He sheds light on the strains of traveling around the world to race at the world championship level, and how important is to have the support of friends and family. And of course, he talks about the confidence with which he enters the remainder of the 2016 WorldSBK season.
Kent Brockman: It was a sour note to retire in the final race before the summer break but a 46 point lead clearly leaves you in a very strong position for the final four rounds of WorldSBK.
Jonathan Rea: Yeah and honestly I couldn’t have asked for much more in the beginning of the year because we started the season with a new bike. It was a completely new bike too with a new engine and chassis. For us to be competitive from the start in Philip Island and do the double there was incredible. We've achieved much more than we expected. Step by step we’ve been strong this year and we’ve faced some difficulties. The most obvious is the shifting problems I’ve encountered at some races. But now we pretty much understand that and why that’s happening. We’ve been able to be strong.
The WorldSBK season goes on its annual summer break with the championship suddenly poised on a much finer edge than was imaginable just a week ago.
Jonathan Rea's dominance of the current campaign has been almost unparalleled. However, his run of 17 consecutive podium finishes to open the season is now over and suddenly he faces a threat from within for his title defense.
World Superbike championship standings after the second race at Laguna Seca:
Press releases from the series organizers and teams after Sunday's second World Superbike race at Laguna Seca:
Laguna Seca: Day 3 - A Showdown to Remember
- Rea out, dueling Ducatis and last corner drama -
Tom Sykes has taken victory in Race 2 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, heading the Ducati duo of Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies over the line in a race that would have been impossible to script.
Race two started with Tom Sykes leading Davide Giugliano, Jonathan Rea, Chaz Davies and Nicky Hayden but was halted after six laps after a red flag. The restart would be twenty one laps.
Report and results follow:
World Superbike standings after the first race at Laguna Seca:
Press releases from the organizers and teams after the first race for the World Superbike series at Laguna Seca:
Laguna Seca: Day 2 - Rea Reigns in the US of A
- KRT duo battle at the front as Kentucky Kid Hayden withstands the pressure for P3 -
Rea (Kawasaki) had never won at Laguna Seca; that fact now a thing of the past
Jonathan Rea has taken his first ever victory at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, beating teammate Tom Sykes into P2 with Nicky Hayden coming through under pressure to take the final spot on the rostrum.