Laguna Seca, USA

2018 Laguna Seca World Superbike FP1 Results: Rea Leads Melandri And Laverty

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.

Results:

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2018 Laguna Seca World Superbike Track Guide - Maintaining Momentum And Being Precise

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.

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2018 Laguna Seca World Superbikes Preview: What To Expect At The Dry Lake

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.

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2018 Provisional WorldSBK Calendar Released: Argentina, Brno Added, Jerez, Lausitzring Out

The FIM today released the provisional 2018 WorldSBK version. Just as last year, the schedule contains thirteen rounds, spread out from February to late October. Two circuits visited in 2017 are out, Jerez and the Lausitzring, while Brno makes a return to the WorldSBK schedule, and a brand new circuit in the west of Argentina, near the border with Chile.

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Subscriber Only Feature: Which Direction For WorldSBK?

After Laguna Seca the future of WorldSBK was once again questioned. Asking the right question may be more important than finding the right answer immediately

“I've said it before and I'll say it again, democracy simply doesn't work,” so said this intrepid reporter when faced with reports that Bart's Comet would bring destruction to Springfield. It was a time of uncertainty and peril for America's greatest city but one from which it recovered by maintaining the status-quo.

While the WorldSBK paddock isn't standing on Mount Springfield singing Que Sera Sera and waiting for the comet to hit, it is facing a moment of truth about where the series is heading. It's always easier to swim with the tide but for WorldSBK patience and thoroughness are more important than being swift and decisive in making the wrong decision.

Since Imola the paddock WorldSBK has been filled with rumor and counter rumor about the direction that the series will take. Will there be a spec ECU? Will there be concessions for different manufacturers? Will there be testing restrictions placed on the successful teams? The list of possibilities has been the talk of the paddock with Dorna's Carmelo Ezpeleta even suggesting making the series into a Stock class, but what is actually best for WorldSBK?

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