Another warm day in California and the last race before the summer break opened again with the American national anthem, this time performed on a trumpet.
Marco Melandri started on pole position due to his fourth place yesterday, with Xavi Fores and Leon Camier alongside him. Melandri was able to convert the pole position into a lead into the hairpin, ahead of Tom Sykes, blasting through outside the fast left kink of turn one from the third row, and Xavi Fores. Chaz Davies was in ninth place, not improving on his grid position for a few turns. Tom Sykes wasted no time to get to the front while Jonathan Rea tucked into third place behind Marco Melandri and passed the Ducati man into the last turn.
By the end of the first lap, two of the men from the third row led the race and by the end of the second, Marco Melandri having missed a corner and losing several places, Chaz Davies was in fourth place behind Xavi Fores. It’s safe to say that the reverse grid once again didn’t have that much impact on the race start.
A lap later, Jonathan Rea passed Tom Sykes neatly at turn three, after the hairpin, while over a second further back, Chaz Davies was stuck behind Xavi Fores, the factory Ducati not being significantly quicker than the satellite Panigale, especially with Laguna Seca not having any straights to speak of. Marco Melandri made up somewhat for his earlier mistake and passed Leandro Mercado, leaving only Jordi Torres between him and Chaz Davies.
With the pace even quicker than yesterday, the Kawasakis at the front putting in laps consistently below 1’24, Marco Melandri was able to reel in and pass Jordi Torres, but by the time he was in a position to try to catch Chaz Davies in fourth place, Davies was two and a half seconds ahead, and on lap seven, Davies took a tight line into the hairpin of turn two while Fores went a little wide, trying to defend third place. Jordi Torres, trying to keep up with Melandri, crashed out, losing the front and watching his bike play in the sandpit by itself as he picked himself up.
At half race distance, with the pace still up on yesterday, there was over two seconds between Rea and Sykes, Sykes and Davies, Davies and Fores and Fores and Melandri. The only rider making in-roads was Melandri in fifth place and a few laps later, Melandri closed in on Fores, as Fores dropped back from Davies. It looked like Fores just couldn’t keep the pace up, much to Melandri’s joy.
Lap thirteen and Marco Melandri played the same hand as Davies, passing Xavi Fores on the tight hairpin, the factory rider having considerably more grip left than the satellite rider.
As a battle raged over the remainder of the race for ninth place, a battle eventually won by Alex Lowes over Michael van der Mark and Stefan Bradl, the front of the race looked settled. Towards the end, though, Tom Sykes started to lose a bit of traction, and Chaz Davies looked like he might be able to catch him, but as Davies closed, Sykes got very good signals from his team and managed his lead to the end, with Davies only managing to get within nine tenths of a second before the lap counter ran out.
Jonathan Rea completed the race over twenty seconds quicker than yesterday’s, an improvement of almost a second a lap, and spent the first eighteen laps under 1’24, with Sykes almost matching his teammate. Chaz Davies may have been able to catch the Kawasakis in front, but spending too long behind Xavi Fores, the reverse grid finally showing an effect here, ensured he couldn’t catch the men in green.
Jake Gagne once again scored a point, only losing fourteenth place to Randy Krummenacher on the penultimate lap. With the podium placed where it is at Laguna SecaJonathan Rea had to run through several corridors before he could get into range to spray his team with Prosecco, but it was a sacrifice he deemed worth making.
Jonathan Rea now has a fifty nine point advantage over Tom Sykes with Chaz Davies a further fifty six points behind.
|1||1||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR|
|2||66||T. SYKES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||2.887|
|3||7||C. DAVIES||Ducati Panigale R||4.847|
|4||33||M. MELANDRI||Ducati Panigale R||17.159|
|5||12||X. FORÉS||Ducati Panigale R||22.741|
|6||50||E. LAVERTY||Aprilia RSV4 RF||26.377|
|7||36||L. MERCADO||Aprilia RSV4 RF||28.475|
|8||32||L. SAVADORI||Aprilia RSV4 RF||29.718|
|9||22||A. LOWES||Yamaha YZF R1||33.044|
|10||60||M. VAN DER MARK||Yamaha YZF R1||33.541|
|11||6||S. BRADL||Honda CBR1000RR||36.756|
|12||40||R. RAMOS||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||43.031|
|13||15||A. DE ANGELIS||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||47.306|
|14||88||R. KRUMMENACHER||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||50.488|
|15||45||J. GAGNE||Honda CBR1000RR||51.093|
|16||96||J. SMRZ||Yamaha YZF R1||59.197|
|17||37||O. JEZEK||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1'00.571|
|RET||86||A. BADOVINI||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||5 Laps|
|RET||81||J. TORRES||BMW S 1000 RR||18 Laps|
|RET||2||L. CAMIER||MV Agusta 1000 F4||18 Laps|
|RET||35||R. DE ROSA||BMW S 1000 RR||22 Laps|