Press release previews from the teams and a fan guide from the organizers ahead of this week's WorldSBK round at Laguna Seca:
Laguna Seca Preview - California Dreaming
WorldSBK returns to Laguna Seca but who will take the advantage into the summer?
Land of the free and home of the brave, America is the destination for Round Eight of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, as the circus rolls into the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Famed for the formidable corkscrew, Laguna is 3.610km of pure speed, and it’s not only turn eight that can make the hairs on your neck stand on edge. Heading into turn one is enough to separate the men from the boys, and the GEICO US Round promises to provide a weekend of high action racing. Battling for glory, the WorldSBK riders will continue to ride in the memory of Nicky Hayden, as Laguna was the circuit which provided Hayden so much joy and success. His podium finish last season will be something that will be fondly remembered by all in the WorldSBK paddock.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) heads to the US with a 50 point championship lead, and has only finished off the podium once so far in 2017, a record which is enough alone to make his rivals concerned. With sheer outright speed and a comfortable base setting on his ZX-10RR Rea is a hard rider to beat, and after he secured his first victory around Laguna last season he will certainly be the man with the target on his back.
Hoping to make his comeback following recovery from his Misano race one crash, which left Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) with a fractured L3 vertebrae, he will be looking to make up for lost time at Laguna. However with a 111 point deficit to Rea in the standings Davies has a lot of work ahead of him, and where better than Laguna Seca where the Brit has a strong history. Doing the double two years ago in California, the 30 year old has four podium finishes out of eight races run there, so it will be an intense comeback for the Welshman.
Quietly creeping up in the championship standings is the consistent Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team). Following a tough start to the season with an illness, he has been decreasing the gap to the top of the championship and is beginning to feel more comfortable with his Kawasaki. Still looking at finding some extra tenths in the beginning of the race and often playing victim to the new race two grid reshuffling rule, Sykes has won two of the last four races and finished on the podium on 11 occasions so far in 2017. Narrowly taking the victory at Laguna Seca in race two last season, the British rider has three wins under his belt in America and will be hoping his resurge can continue.
Italy’s 100th race winner Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) has now got the monkey off his back in terms of standing on the top step since his 2017 return, following the Italian’s sensational victory last time out in front of his home fans at Misano. Back at Laguna Seca for the first time since 2014, the 34 year old has welcomed success in California in the past, both in his time in MotoGP™ and WorldSBK. Two podiums in MotoGP™ were followed by a podium and victory in the WorldSBK class. With a new found pace with his Panigale, will the confidence continue into America?
Heading into another tough weekend, Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) will experience the exhilarating Laguna Seca on his Superbike machine for the first time. A circuit in which he has stood on the podium around, the German rider will continue to be making improvements on the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2. As always, he will be racing in the honour of Hayden, at a circuit which was always very close to the Americans heart.
Fresh off the back of Misano heartbreak, both Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) will be out with a point to prove, as they were unable to convert their stunning performances into podium finishes last time out in Italy. In race one and race two respectively, the pair fell victim of a tyre issue which put them both out of contention of a podium finish. Both Van der Mark and Torres have only made two appearances around Laguna Seca; the Dutch rider has consistently secured top eight finishes which he will be hoping to build on in 2017 whilst Spaniard Torres took two top five finishes in his first weekend around Laguna, before two top eight positions last season.
Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) is another rider heading to America looking for redemption, as the British rider was able to get a strong start to his weekend at Misano, but he was unable to capitalise on his early pace. Leaving Europe with an 11th and DNF on the time sheets, he will be hoping to improve on this ahead of the summer break. Heading to America where his record is varied, Camier will be eager to make some big steps.
US WorldSBK action gets underway on Friday 7th July 09.45LT (-7 GMT) as riders head out for Free Practice one, before the race one battle commences at 14.00LT on Saturday.
California The Next Stop For Rea And Sykes
Round eight of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship will get underway at Laguna Seca on Friday 7th July with KRT’s championship leading duo of Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes aiming for more success at the 3.610 km venue near Monterey in California.
The annual pilgrimage to the spiritual home of WorldSBK racing in the United States is always a highpoint for the entire grid and this year it is all to play for in the official Kawasaki Racing Team, with Rea leading the championship and Sykes in overall second place. So far in 2017 Jonathan has recorded eight individual race wins and Sykes two.
Both riders have good reason to look forward to another Laguna weekend, as each has previously won races at the undulating and intense circuit, which is home to the famous “Corkscrew” corner. The KRT riders shared one victory apiece in 2016, when Rea won the first race on Saturday and Sykes the second on Sunday.
In all, Sykes has won three of his career total of 33 WorldSBK races at Laguna - one on his way to the world championship with Kawasaki in 2013. He once more scored individual wins in the 2014 and 2016 seasons.
Currently, Rea holds a 50 point lead over Sykes as the 13- round/26 race championship has now passed through its halfway stage.
On completion of the Laguna Seca race weekend the championship enters a short summer break, with the ninth round taking place at the Lausitzring in Germany, with races to be held on the 19th and 20th of August.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “After Misano I enjoyed some time camping with my family and also got together with the whole KRT team in Ibiza for some fun. I’m really looking forward to Laguna Seca this weekend as it is one of the most iconic circuits in the world, and one that I really enjoy. Our Ninja ZX-10RR has been working very well so far this season so I am confident we can find a good feeling when we hit the track in FP1 on Friday. Last year I was able to win my first race at Laguna and this time the target is to repeat that in both races. The American fans are very passionate about WorldSBK and the atmosphere around the paddock is something that I really enjoy. We are now past the halfway point of the season and I am focused on this next block of races, just to be as strong as possible and go into the summer break satisfied with our work so far.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “The Laguna circuit is quite tight and twisty and the lap times are always very close. I have had some good results there and I remember I won the very first Laguna race I ever rode in. It surprised me at the time because I won it against a few guys who had been there before, racing in MotoGP or the American championship. I remember that I was proud of that because I thought it would be difficult to compete there the very first time. We have been making progress recently and I would like to keep moving forward and pick up a big bagful of points. That has to be the target this weekend. The American fans are fantastic and I just like the whole atmosphere and environment. I love the place!”
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team headed to California: next stop Laguna Seca for Davies and Melandri
After a two-week break, the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team is ready to resume action at Laguna Seca (U.S.), home of the eighth round of the 2017 WorldSBK Championship. On the iconic California track, located just a few miles from the scenic town of Monterey, both Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri collected prestigious results in the past, and the team is eager to keep up the momentum after taking Race 2 at Misano to bring the season’s tally up to four wins (three of which on Italian soil).
Sidelined during the last race due to the fracture of the transverse process of L3 (3rd lumbar vertebra) and a contusion of the left thumb caused after a collision with a blameless Rea in Race 1, Davies underwent an intense physiotherapy program to recover from injuries with positive results, and already flew to California. As is procedure, the rider will be examined by the Championship’s Medical Director and circuit staff on Thursday to receive formal clearance to race on a track where he already scored two wins and two further podiums in his career.
Melandri also stepped on the top of the podium at Laguna Seca, barely missing a double in 2014, and took third place one year before. Thanks to the setup improvements made in the last round, which culminated in his maiden win on the Panigale R, the Italian is keen to be a steady protagonist from now on.
After seven rounds, Davies and Melandri are respectively third (185 points) and fourth (163 points) in the championship. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will resume action on Friday at 09:45 (CET -9) for the first free-practice session.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7)
“I’ve been doing physiotherapy everyday for the past two weeks, and my conditions have constantly improved. I feel generally pretty good, and the back is not bothering me particularly. We just need to wait for the official ‘thumbs up’ from the medical staff. Honestly, I can’t wait to ride again. It’s been a bit frustrating not to be able to train since Misano, but I didn’t want to make anything worse. I want to take advantage of the next few days to wake my body up again. Laguna Seca is a great track, it triggers many a great memories, and its atmosphere is fantastic. Maybe I’ll be a bit limited physically, but if we manage to find a comfortable setup that allows the bike to hit the marks without forcing too much we can aim high, so I’m confident.”
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33)
“Laguna Seca is one of my favorite races. I enjoy the track, and most of all the whole California vibe: the climate, the landscapes, and the fans’ attitude. The track itself is small but fast, with many direction and elevation changes. It’s complete and challenging. Also, the races there often get red-flagged. We’ll have to take this into account as well, from a tactical point of view. In the past two weeks I trained and recharged. I feel great and this is the right moment to resume action. I believe we stepped it up a notch at Misano, and we can be competitive on each track from now on. Now I ride a bike that is more suitable for my style.”
It’s destination California for Althea BMW this week
Rome (Italy), Tuesday 4 July 2017
After its second home round at the Misano World Circuit, the Althea BMW Racing Team now travels to the state of California and the Laguna Seca racetrack, where it will take part in round eight of the 2017 Superbike World Championship with its two riders Jordi Torres and Raffaele De Rosa.
The Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway is located close to Monterey in central California. A track that is on the short side, at just 3610 metres, it features eleven corners, the most famous of which is undoubtedly that known as the Corkscrew.
At last year’s edition of the Laguna Seca round, Jordi crossed the line in eighth and sixth position. Raffaele, who was racing at the American track for the first time, closed race 2 in eleventh place. After a positive Misano weekend, the Althea BMW pair are hoping that they can build on this momentum and do well also at the Californian track.
"Laguna is a really great track where I hope to be able to complete two good races this weekend. We worked really well at Misano, even fighting for the win in race 2, so I hope to be able to make the most of this positive trend. Last two we had two quite tough races in America, while two years ago I came close to the podium… I’m feeling quite confident and ready to do battle with the best…”
Raffaele De Rosa
“It's the second time I’ll race at Laguna with the Superbike so at least I know something about what to expect. It’s definitely a tough track but one that I like. The last race at Misano saw me take a small step forward and I would like to continue along this path, to try and grow from now until the end of the season. I’m happy to go back to Monterey, a great place, also because there’s a really great atmosphere in the paddock, with the American championship running alongside ours…”
Pata Yamaha Looking Forward to Laguna
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team of Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark cannot wait to get back on track at Laguna Seca this weekend for round eight of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship after an impressive showing in Misano. Both riders displayed improved pace at the last round in Italy, highlighting the continued progress the team have made throughout the season. Lowes is looking to build on his second podium of the season at a track he clearly enjoys riding. His teammate van der Mark hopes to go one better than his fourth-place finish in race two at Misano, after he was cruelly denied the chance to fight for victory in race one because of a tyre failure.
Lowes crossed the line in second position in race one at Misano to record his best result for the Pata Yamaha Team and continue the excellent progress he has made throughout 2017. The 26-year-old British rider has two podiums to his name in the last four races and has established himself as a regular rostrum challenger. Last year at Laguna he finished fifth and 14th (after a last-corner incident) in the two races, but knows this year he can be a lot more competitive at a circuit he really enjoys. Lowes is currently fifth in the championship standings with 141 points after seven rounds, 22 points behind Marco Melandri in fourth.
Van der Mark wants to continue the momentum he has been developing throughout 2017 that has seen him record two fourth place finishes in the last three races. The 24-year-old Dutch rider showed just how far he and his team had progressed by leading for the majority of race one at Misano, before a tyre failure saw him crash out with just a few laps to go, denying him the chance of his first victory fight for the team. Thanks to the pace displayed in Misano, he now heads to Laguna Seca feeling confident in his R1 and his ability to fight for a top finish once more. Van der Mark occupies sixth in the championship standings with 115 points, 26 behind his teammate Lowes.
The iconic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was originally built in 1957 and is located in Monterey County, Central California. It is 3.610km long, has 11 corners, four right and seven left-handed, elevation changes of over 55m and, of course, features the iconic Corkscrew. It is only the WorldSBK class that races at Laguna Seca, with the on-track action kicking off on Friday at 9:45am local time for FP1.
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 5th - 141 Points
"Laguna is a great track and it comes after a couple of good weekends and two podiums, so I really want to keep the positive run going! It's a track that suits the R1 and one I really enjoy. I can't wait to get started working hard with the guys from Friday, focusing on the race. It is always great to race in America and I can't wait to get there and kick-off the second half of the season. I feel extremely motivated and I know there are improvements to come from both myself and my R1, so I look forward to getting back on track in California!"
Michael van der Mark
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 6th - 115 points
"I think we can say we had a very strong weekend in Misano. Despite the problems we had, it was a really good event for us and it's clear to see that we are making good progress with the R1. So, we are going to Laguna with a lot of confidence and with a good base setting in the bike. Laguna Seca is a completely different track compared to any other, so we are curious to see how the bike will work here. I have a good feeling with the bike, my confidence is high, and I feel we are capable of being in the top 5 again!"
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Principal
"Following another step forward in performance in Misano, where Michael was challenging to win in Race one, and with Alex scoring another podium, the whole team is looking forward to the challenges of Laguna Seca. Alex and Michael have been in Japan testing for the Suzuka 8 Hours, so they have both had plenty of bike time and Laguna is very much a rider's track, where setting is, of course, important as always but the rider can also make a real difference. We have two very motivated guys on the R1s as we approach this race. We understand Pirelli have reacted to the recent problems by allocating two different tyres for Laguna - whilst this might be a bit restrictive in terms of choice it shows that safety is clearly the number 1 priority. As always, we are looking forward to getting back in action on Friday morning!"
Jake Gagne joins the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team at Laguna Seca
The Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team is pleased to announce that 24-year-old American rider Jake Gagne will team up with Stefan Bradl to take part in the US Round of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship on board the team’s Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 machine.
Born and raised in Ramona, California, Gagne is currently competing in the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship on the Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda CBR1000RR SP2 (Fireblade) and brings with him a wealth of success in various competitions. Jake won the Red Bull Rookies Cup at the age of 18 in 2010, before a year in the CEV Moto2 Championship. He then returned to America where he won the Daytona SportBike Championship (2014) and the MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 Championship the following year, showcasing his talent.
Jake is now ready to make his WorldSBK debut on the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team’s Fireblade.
“For me this is a dream come true and a huge honour to get an opportunity to race in the World Superbike Championship with such a prestigious team. This is a huge opportunity and I am going to do everything I can to do the best job possible and learn as much as I can. The loss of Nicky was very difficult for us all but I know he will be watching over us and I hope I can make him proud. Laguna Seca will always be a very special track for him and I’m honoured to get out there in front of our home crowd and show what I can do. It seems like a great fit coming off a Honda Superbike here in the States, as well as having Red Bull as the team sponsor, as they have supported me throughout my whole career. I would like to express my huge thanks to Honda, Red Bull and Ten Kate for this incredible opportunity. And thanks also to Broaster, RoadRace Factory and my whole team for allowing me to chase this dream!”
Ronald ten Kate, Team Manager
“Jake is a young and talented racer who already knows the Fireblade quite well from racing in the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship and has raced – and won – many times at Laguna Seca. We are looking forward to welcoming him within the team and giving him the best possible support for his World Superbike debut. I’m confident he will enjoy the experience and will do his very best in front of his home crowd. Nicky was known for his great support of young riders – especially his fellow Americans – and was always available for a chat and to offer advice, so I feel this is the perfect way to honour him at Laguna Seca.”
Mike Snyder: Marketing Senior Manager, American Honda
“It is our pleasure to collaborate with our peers at Honda Motor Europe and show the strength of Honda teamwork. Jake is a talented young man, and he has been a huge part of our re-entry into the AMA road racing scene this year. We are happy to see him have this opportunity with WorldSBK, and having new American talent enter the world scene at Laguna is a fitting tribute to Nicky’s memory.”
Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team back to full strength at Laguna Seca
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, United States
The Red Bull Honda World Superbike team is currently in northern California preparing for the eighth round of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship, which gets underway tomorrow at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Full time team rider Stefan Bradl is joined for the US round by 24-year-old American Jake Gagne, who prepares for his WorldSBK debut in front of his home crowd.
The spectacular 3.610km track located between the American cities of Monterey and Salinas is well known to both riders. Bradl raced at Laguna Seca in the last two editions of the US Grand Prix held there in 2012 and 2013, with the latter being a very successful one for the 27-year-old German. Not only did he secure pole position on his Honda MotoGP machine, but he was also second at the chequered flag behind fellow Honda rider Marc Marquez.
Jake Gagne will jump on the team’s Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 machine for the first time tomorrow morning for the first free practice session of the World Superbike class, scheduled at 9:45 local time (GMT -7). The 24-year-old from Ramona, California, who is currently taking part in the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship with the Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda team, will focus solely on his one-off World Superbike adventure this time around.
Stefan Bradl 6
I’m looking forward to getting started here at Laguna Seca. It’s a very special place for me because I have fond memories of this track from my MotoGP times. I like the layout and the atmosphere that is typical of this part of the world. It will surely be a special weekend because of Nicky, so we will do our very best as a tribute to him and for his fans. It’s very important for us all to get some good results here!
- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team
Jake Gagne 45
It’s good to be finally here at Laguna Seca, I’ve been counting down the days for a while now! I want to thank the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team for this amazing opportunity, and I’m really happy to finally have met some of the team – they welcomed me in a really nice way! Today I’m really excited to finally get to see the WorldSBK-spec version of the bike and be able to sit on it, and obviously even more excited to take to the track tomorrow!
- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team
We are happy to welcome Jake within the team for this round at Laguna Seca. For him it will be his maiden World Superbike race but he knows the track really well and he has already ridden the bike before, albeit the the MotoAmerica-spec version. His feedback will be really important and we will give him the best possible package to show his talent on the world stage! We have worked hard during the break and we hope we aim to make a step forward with Stefan: he really loves this track and hopefully it will be a good weekend for us all.
Manufacturers in Monterey
How have different manufacturers fared around Laguna Seca in the past?
Aprilia have won three times at Laguna Seca: with Troy Corser in Race 1, 2000, Eugene Laverty in Race 2, 2013 and Marco Melandri in 2014 Race 1. Their last podium here came three years ago with Sylvain Guintoli, who was second in Race 2. Last year De Angelis and Savadori were respectively 9th and 6th in Race 1, while neither of them were able to finish Race 2.
BMW 2013 recorded two podium finishes at Laguna Seca in 2013: Chaz Davies was second in Race 1 and Marco Melandri third in Race 2. Last year the best of the four BMW riders was Jordi Torres: 8th in Race 1 and 6th in Race 2.
Ducati is the most successful manufacturer in Laguna Seca’s history with 12 wins and 37 podiums. Last year they endured a disappointing Race 1 as both works riders crashed out, coming back strongly in Race 2, with Davide Giugliano in 2nd and Chaz Davies in 3rd. That was the first double podium finish for Ducati in Laguna Seca since 2004 (James Toseland 2nd; Regis Laconi 3rd). Ducati’s rate of success here is so high that the only years they didn’t secure podiums were 2013 and 2014. In all the races run here, Ducati has always had a bike in the top four grid positions.
Five wins have been secured by Honda, the last ones in 2004 (a double by Chris Vermeulen). The last of their 15 podiums here came with a third by the late Nicky Hayden last year in Race 2.
Last year Kawasaki recorded their only double at Laguna Seca, with Jonathan Rea winning Race 1 and Tom Sykes Race 2. With 6 wins and 16 podiums, Kawasaki are second only to Ducati in the all-time standings at Laguna. In the last eight races run, the best Kawasaki at the flag was always in the top four. Starting from 2014, this record improves with the best Kawasaki always finishing on the podium at Laguna Seca.
The best result for MV Agusta at Laguna Seca is a 10th (2014 Race 2, both 2015 races), scored by the only rider who ever took an MV Agusta to the races at Laguna Seca, Leon Camier.
Yamaha climbed on the podium three times at Laguna Seca, with a win from Noriyuki Haga in 1998, and a first and second again by Haga in 2000. Last year Yamaha made their return to Monterey for the first time since 2004, and their best results were a 5th from Alex Lowes in Race 1 and an 8th from Niccolò Canepa in Race 2.
Fans get even closer to the action at US WorldSBK
Laguna Seca to bring plenty of entertainment for fans
WorldSBK rocks up the GEICO US Round from 7th – 9th July and it’s not just the thrilling on track action that is building the excitement to the eighth round of the season, as the circuit will be filled with off track activities. Keeping fans entertained throughout the weekend before seeing the likes of Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) take to the track, take a look at what will be on offer over the US WorldSBK weekend.
Getting bigger and even better year on year, Laguna Seca welcomes the Paddock Show with some new additions for 2017. On stage from Friday, watch all sessions live or catch up with all the post-Friday questions from the top three riders. Saturday brings the all new SuperShow to the US for the first time, as there is now even more chance to hear from the top riders after the full day of racing action on day two – with the top three from Race One, Tissot Superpole Winner, Pirelli Best Lap rider and Top US rider all on hand to tell all about Saturday and sign some autographs. Round up Saturday with the Party in the Paddock on stage from 17.45 and it won’t be a day to forget. Sunday welcomes a legends chat show for the fans, giving them the chance to meet the stars of the past, before seeing the stars of the future and present with the Race Two chat show rounding out a packed weekend.
Heading to a circuit close to the American’s heart, there will be various ways to remember Nicky Hayden, who tragically lost his life in a cycling accident back in May. Providing fans with the opportunity of a track walk in the memory of Hayden on Saturday at 18.15, which will start from turn five from the Marketplace. Whilst taking part on the walk, fans can make donations to the Nicky Hayden Memorial Fund as well as being in with the opportunity of signing a book of remembrance and poster throughout the weekend.
Ever wanted to experience a lap of the famous Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on your own bike? There will be a unique opportunity to ride around the circuit on Saturday at 12.30-12.50, on an accompanied parade lap with more information regarding tickets at the Ticket Office.
Eat, sleep, race, repeat as fans have the opportunity to camp right beside the circuit throughout the GEICO US Round, getting even closer to the action. Set up your tent or camper and fully experience the WorldSBK atmosphere in all its glory.
On top of this fans have the opportunity to put their skills to the test with go-karting in the paddock, view some mini-moto demonstrations in the Marketplace or even get the taste of local products in from Saturday to Sunday. The US WorldSBK round is not one to miss out on.
Did You Know? Laguna in Numbers
WorldSBK rolls into Monterey, get stuck into some useful facts and stats
30 – Laguna Seca is set to become the 9th track in history with at least 30 races run. The record belongs to Phillip Island, with 53 WorldSBK races run so far.
17 – A European rider won here for the first time after 16 races: it was Frankie Chili, in the first 2003 race. Since then the winds have changed, the only non-European rider to win around Laguna Seca is Australian Chris Vermeulen, with a double in 2004.
15 – Laguna Seca has no less than 15 different winners in 28 races so far. 5 of them are part of the current field: Sykes, Davies, Laverty, Melandri and Rea.
12 – Ducati have won here 12 times: whilst all their rivals combined have won 16 time. Kawasaki is the “best of the rest” with 6.
11 – Up until now Laguna Seca has 11 different pole sitters over 14 race weekends. Only Troy Corser (3 poles: 1995, 1998, 1999) and Tom Sykes (2014 and 2016) recorded more than one pole here.
11 – Troy Corser is the rider with most podiums at Laguna Seca, 11, followed by Tom Sykes at 7.
9 – Australian riders are the most successful at this track with 9 wins, followed by the local riders at 7. Great Britain is on the rise as they have won the last five races.
9 –Ducati has the record of poles at Laguna Seca. Their tally is 9: Last year Kawasaki became the only other manufacturer with more than one, thanks to Tom Sykes. The other three manufacturers on pole here are Honda, Suzuki and Aprilia.
7 – Ducati was the sole polesitter in the first seven race weekends held at Laguna Seca (1995-2001). Colin Edwards broke the string in 2002 recording pole for Honda.
7 – So far all the 28 wins in Laguna Seca came from the top-7 grid spots, only 5 from outside the top-3. The last rider to win here without starting from the front row was Marco Melandri, from P5 in the first 2014 Race.
5 – Five riders share the honour of the highest number of wins (3) at Laguna Seca: John Kocinski, Anthony Gobert, Troy Corser, Ben Bostrom and Tom Sykes. This year both Tom Sykes and Chaz Davies (2 wins) can become the first rider with four wins here.
5 – The last five races here were won only by British riders: which is the longest streak by a country in the track’s history. The last non-British winner at Laguna Seca was Marco Melandri in 2014, Race 1.
4 – The future World Champion has won here four times: John Kocinski in 1997 (double); Colin Edwards in 2002 (Race 2); Tom Sykes in 2013 (Race 1); Jonathan Rea in 2016 (Race 1).
1 – Only one rider was able to record a pole time below 1minute and 22 seconds here: Tom Sykes in 2014. His lap time was 1’21.811. That was one of the most dominant poles in the history of the track, as the second on the grid, Sylvain Guintoli, was 0.528 seconds behind. Only John Kocinski had a greater margin, back in 1996 (0.569 seconds over Troy Corser).