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.
The United States always make a patriotic meal of their sporting events, with their military usually paying to take part in whatever opening ceremonies they hold, but Nicky Hayden was the centre of attention; he wore a helmet saying "The creature is back to Laguna" but would the Kentucky Kid stand a chance against the current crop of Superbike racers?
Report and results follow:
Thirteen riders contested two slots to join the top ten in Superpole two, with Michael van der Mark and Alex De Angelis the two quickest men in the first group.
Report and results follow:
Jonathan Rea was quickest by twenty four thoudsandths of a second from Chaz Davies in the morning's untimed session, Tom Sykes and Davide Giugliano made it a factory Kawasaki and Ducati top four.
Chaz Davies was quickest while Jonathan Rea had to settle for second-best within a tenth of a second. Nicky Hayden was third quickest, holding off Tom Sykes by under three hundredths of a second. Alex Lowes was unable to match his morning's pace but his morning's time was good enough to get him through to Superpole two.
Michael van der Mark and Alex De Angelis missed out on advancing to the second session but are the two favourites to get promoted from Superpole one.
Alex Lowes opens the weekend with the fastest time as the red flag came out with a few minutes remaining. Chaz Davies and Jonathan Rea were within under a tenth of a second, ahead of the Hondas of Michael van der Mark and the American Nicky Hayden.
Preview press releases from the organizers and teams ahead of this weekend's World Superbike round at Laguna Seca:
Laguna Seca: Preview - California Calling
- The Corkscrew awaits on the long haul west to the US of A -
How much does it cost to get into Grand Prix racing? If you need to ask, you probably can’t afford it
I assume Jack Miller’s post-Assen party is just about over now and that he’s back down the gym, pumping iron like a good lad.
Miller, like many other Aussie battlers before him, has the knack of burning the candle at both ends: working hard and playing hard. And you may have noticed that whenever he has a good day at work he likes to thank his parents for what they’ve done for him.
The first half of 2016 has seen a long and intense period of speculation, gossip and conjecture over which rider ends up where in MotoGP. Big names have jumped from one factory to another, the entry of KTM has opened up opportunities for established satellite riders, and there has been much talk of the rookies entering MotoGP from Moto2 – Sam Lowes to Aprilia, Alex Rins to Suzuki, and Johann Zarco to Tech 3 (though the latter is still to be announced).
What there has been much less talk of is who is to fill their seats. Traditionally, Silly Season for Moto2 and Moto3 starts much later than for MotoGP, speculation and negotiations commencing in the run up to the flyaways and often only being finalized at Valencia. But with three of the strongest teams in Moto2 having seats to fill, team managers are looking ahead a little earlier than usual.
Today, we have a very special guest blog, for a remarkable young man. A year ago today, on 5th July 2015, Spanish Superbike champion and former Moto2 racer Kenny Noyes crashed his Palmeto Kawasaki ZX-10R during warm up for a round of the FIM CEV Spanish Superbike championship. The bike hit a wall and rebounded into Kenny, striking him on the head. The impact caused severe head trauma, and Kenny was flown to a nearby hospital, where he received treatment.
Since then, Kenny has worked tirelessly on his recovery, with the support of his family. He has made incredible progress for someone with such a severe injury, with the racer's fixation on the goal: to race again sometime. His story is one of hope for anyone who suffers a severe injury, and proves that with the right support and the right attitude, you can do much more than anyone might reasonably expect.
That Kenny should make such a recovery is less of a surprise to me. I first met Kenny through his father, Dennis Noyes, who at the time was commentating on MotoGP for Spanish TV. Dennis was unfailingly kind and helpful to me in the early part of my career, and so when Kenny got a ride in the Moto2 championship, I wrote press releases for him for a while. I got to know Kenny reasonably well over the years, seeing at close hand the highs and lows which motorcycle racing can bring.
The overwhelming impression I got from Kenny was of a racer's determination. Even in the darkest moments, when he was left with impossible mountains to climb, Kenny kept a firm belief in himself and his abilities. If he just tried hard enough, he knew he could achieve much more than anyone expected. That dedication and optimism, a trait shared by his family, is what helped Kenny get where he is today.
Aprilia and Ducati have wrapped up their two-day private test at Misano. The Italian factories had a grand total of three riders out on track, with Casey Stoner riding the Ducati Desmosedici GP, and Sam Lowes and Mike Di Meglio riding the Aprilia RS-GP.
Testing continued as it started on Wednesday, with Stoner giving the GP16 a proper run out, working in the main on chassis and electronics. The test was private, and no times were recorded, but paddock gossip believes Stoner was quick straight out of the box, posting times which matched those of the factory riders. Though Stoner did not speak to the media, Ducati did issue a press release with a statement from the Italian, shown below. Stoner will now stay on for the World Ducati Week, which starts this weekend at Misano.
MotoGP Silly Season is nearly at an end. With the confirmation that both Jack Miller and Cal Crutchlow will be staying in their seats for 2017, the list of possibly vacant grid slots grew much shorter. Those that remain empty are growing ever closer to being filled, leaving only three seats open, and one seat still completely free. Time to take a look at the current state of play.
With the announcement that Aleix Espargaro would be joining Aprilia for two years, the last of the factory seats was filled. The factory rides filled up quickly in 2016, starting with Valentino Rossi and Bradley Smith at Qatar, and culminating eight races later at Assen with the signing of Espargaro. (The timing of the Aleix Espargaro/Aprilia announcement was peculiar to say the least. Making a major announcement that a rider had been signed to a factory rider – a signing everyone already knew about – on the Sunday night after one of the most remarkable MotoGP races in recent memory was guaranteed to achieve the absolute minimum of media coverage.)
Aprilia and Ducati had their first day of a two-day test at Misano on Wednesday, with two big-name riders. Casey Stoner returned to action with Ducati, testing the Desmosedici GP (as the 2016 bike is officially known), as part of Ducati's official test team. For Aprilia, Sam Lowes got his first taste of the RS-GP, testing the MotoGP bike alongside Aprilia's official test rider Mike Di Meglio.
As this is a private test, no information regarding lap times was available, and Ducati were keeping very quiet on exactly what they are testing. From Casey Stoner's Twitter feed, we know that he was testing the GP16, though exactly what he was testing is unknown. Stoner did post the following video on Twitter: