Press releases from the series organizers, some of the WorldSBK teams, and the MotoAmerica organizers after the races on Sunday at Laguna Seca:
#USAWorldSBK - Day 3: Davies takes first win of 2019 in Race 2 at Laguna Seca
Ducati rider seals his 30th WorldSBK win in a frantic Race 2, ahead of Rea and Razgatlioglu
The final race of the weekend for the 2019 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at Laguna Seca took place under predictably sunny skies, with Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) taking his first win of the season with a dominant lights-to-flag victory. His teammate, Alvaro Bautista, retired from the race with injury after crashing in the Tissot Superpole Race, meaning the gap extends between himself and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) at the head of the field.
Another lightening start from Chaz Davies from second on the grid meant the Welshman took the advantage at Turn 1 and held it at Turn 2. Racing into third place, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) made a brisk start whilst slotting in behind him, Tom Sykes aboard his BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team machine. Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was ahead of Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), whilst Jordi Torres Team Pedercini Racing) was up in eighth.
Jonathan Rea tried once to get ahead of Davies on Lap 2 on the entrance to Turn 5 but ran wide and allowed Davies to take the lead back. It would stay like this for the entire distance, with Jonathan Rea unable to match Chaz Davies, who was in a class of his own at the head of the field. Toprak Razgatlioglu was soon dropped but was lapping constantly quicker than those behind him, consolidating his podium pace.
After Lap 2, Alvaro Bautista’s injured shoulder proved too much, and the Spaniard’s luckless weekend came to a premature end when he retired. Two laps later, third in the championship Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was out with a technical problem. The battle for third place in the championship was now really on.
Battles were strewn throughout the field, with Alex Lowes mugging Sykes halfway through the race before clearing off into a safe fourth place, whilst Sykes and Haslam ran toe-to-toe for the remainder of the race, although it resulted in no change of order. Behind them, Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) had come through the order to get ahead of Jordi Torres. Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) was strong too, up to ninth from a poor starting position.
But back at the front, it was all about Chaz Davies as he pulled away from Rea and came home with a huge advantage to win his first race since Aragon Race 2 in 2018. Rea was up in second and extending his championship advantage to 81 points. Toprak Razgatlioglu was back on the rostrum yet again, consolidating his position as a real challenger for third overall in the championship. Alex Lowes and Tom Sykes completed the top five, whilst Leon Haslam was sixth.
Loris Baz held off a resurgent Jordi Torres to come home seventh, whilst Marco Melandri had to make do with ninth, whilst fellow countryman Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team) was inside the top ten yet again in tenth position, just pipping Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) who finished 11th.
P1 - Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing - Ducati)
"This means so much to me. It's been a tough season for me. We've been trying so many things and not just really finding my feet. This year has been so so tough for many different reasons, but I want to say thanks to my team because they've been behind me the whole way and nobody threw the towel, and they kept trying to get more and more comfortable and this is the result. To win here on the U.S. soil is so amazing. I think it's my fourth win here and I love Laguna, I love America, I love California and bringing home the victory today is the best way to going into the Summer Break. I am really happy with that, and it is dedicated to all my team".
P2 - Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
"I am super satisfied with our weekend. We got two wins, a new lap record and also a second place! It is good for us. The team gave me a great bike and our ZX-10RR was working so good. We just made a small change between the Superpole Race and Race 2 that put my front in crisis a little bit, and I was struggling to finish the corner, but aside from that, I did the best I could so congratulation to Chaz and Ducati. I am looking forward to my Summer Break now".
P3 - Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing)
"I am happy to be on the podium again. This morning the Tissot Superpole Race didn't go well because after the red flag we didn't change tyres, and we were able to finish just fourth. But for Race 2 I knew that my feeling with the bike was good. I tried to follow the front guys but I couldn't keep their pace as again, after 10 laps, tyres dropped their performance. Anyway, I am pleased about this second podium, and I now am looking forward to starting my holidays".
Chaz Davies notches up his first win with the Panigale V4 R after a top-class performance in Race 2 at Laguna Seca, while it was a weekend to forget for Álvaro Bautista, who goes home after two crashes and a DNF
It was a magnificent day for Chaz Davies who stepped back onto the top of the victory podium today at the Laguna Seca Raceway in California for the first time in fifteen months, since Aragón 2018. After taking part in his 200th World Superbike race in the morning’s Superpole Race, the 32-year-old Welsh rider notched up his thirtieth win in the championship with a superb performance in Race 2, dominating from start to finish and crossing the line three seconds ahead of his main rival, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki).
It was on the other hand a weekend to forget for team-mate Álvaro Bautista. In the Superpole Race, reduced from 10 to 8 laps because of a red flag, the 34-year-old Spanish racer crashed at Turn 2 after a contact with Turkish rider Razgatlioglu. In the crash Bautista suffered stretched ligaments in his left shoulder, but after the OK from the circuit medical staff, he lined up on the grid for the start of Race 2. Unfortunately, because of the pain and a lack of strength in his left arm, he had to pull into the pits and retire after the opening lap.
Today’s win and the two second places achieved this weekend, allow Chaz to move up to seventh place in the championship with 184 points, while Bautista, who failed to score one point, remains in second place with 352 points. The next round of the Superbike World Championship will take place in two months’ time at the Autodromo dell’Algarve in Portugal, from 6th to 8th September.
To commemorate Carlin Dunne, the American rider tragically killed in the Pikes Peak race two weeks ago, Ducati will put up for auction the #005/500 Panigale V4 25° Anniversario bike presented on Friday at Pebble Beach, while Chaz has decided to contribute to the auction by adding the leathers with which he won today’s race, in their special commemorative livery.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 2nd / 1st
“This win really means a lot to me, because it’s been a long hard season so far. The last time I won was almost a year and a half ago and it gets to a point where you wonder whether you can still win or not. It’s just proof that if you keep plugging away and working hard then the results sooner or later will come and today was that day. Finally, we got it right, my team did an excellent job, in particular at the end of the FP1 session on Friday morning when we made a big change to the bike’s set-up. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I had the pace to win though, because Johnny’s pace in race 1 was strong and consistent while I chose the wrong tyre. Even so I wasn’t sure if this tyre would make the difference. I’m very happy and thrilled to get this result going into the summer break and we will all certainly celebrate tonight!”
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #19) – DNF / DNF
“I really feel bad about what happened today. At Turn 1 in the Superpole Race, Razgatlioglu completely closed my line and I couldn’t do anything to prevent his rear wheel from hitting my front. His move ruined both of my races today because I injured my left shoulder in the crash. I was taken to the medical centre and after checks, I was given the OK by the doctors to try and take part in Race 2, seeing as the X-ray showed that nothing was broken. Unfortunately, after just one lap I realized that the pain was too much for me to ride because as I didn’t have any strength in my left arm I wasn’t able to brake in the left-handers, and for this reason I came into the pits. I’m very sorry because we are working really well and always find the way to go fast, but in any case we’re going through a really difficult time at the moment. I’m sure that if we continue to work in this way, we’ll come back stronger than ever and with even more desire to win. As soon as I get back home, I’ll have more detailed checks done on my shoulder ligaments, but luckily two months’ break before the next race will surely allow me to fully recover.”
Rea Extends Championship Lead With Win And Second
Jonathan Rea (KRT) enters the long summer break in WorldSBK action with an 81-point championship lead having scored another race win and a final runner-up spot on Sunday at Laguna Seca. Leon Haslam (KRT) recovered well from his big fall on Saturday to record a fifth and sixth place finish today. Top independent rider Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) took another podium finish, in Race Two.
With two races to compete in each Sunday in the 2019 season, Rea and Haslam had two opportunities to score at the intense 3.660km circuit in California, and both rose to the occasion.
The Tissot-Superpole race was cut from ten to eight laps after a red flag was thrown to halt the action after two backmarkers had crashed. For the second time this weekend former championship leader Alvaro Bautista fell in a race, and he could not make the restarted Superpole race.
Rea, setting a new lap record of 1’22.700 in the process, won the Tissot-Superpole race to take his total of 2019 race victories to nine after winning the opening Laguna Seca race on Saturday.
There was to be no tenth race win to round out this weekend but in finishing a strong second behind Chaz Davies in Race Two Rea extended his championship points lead to a remarkable 81, on a weekend when his main rival Bautista no scored completely after retiring from Race Two.
Rea lifted his career race-winning total to a new and unparalleled height of 80 (part of 156 total podiums) thanks to his pair of winner’s trophies from this round.
Haslam overcame an injury to his left hand after his Saturday crash to secure two strong finishes - despite a lack of strength and stamina in his hand and an eventually overworked left arm and shoulder. Fifth and sixth places maintained Haslam’s top five position overall.
In the championship points Rea has 433, Bautista 352, Alex Lowes 220, Michael van der Mark 215, Haslam 202 and Razgatlioglu 191.
After the very long summer break – in WorldSBK action at least - the tenth round of the championship will be held at Portimao between 6 and 8 September. Before that Rea, Haslam and Razgatlioglu will compete at the Suzuka 8 Hours race and then there will be an official WorldSBK test for all at Portimao in late August.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I would never have believed you if you told me I would come here and set a new lap record, win two races and take the overall, so it has been a great weekend. We made a very small change to the bike between the Superpole race and Race Two. My feeling was completely different, which we did not expect. There was a lot of front movement, whereas all weekend before that we had been strong with the front. I had a few small warnings, just enough for me to roll it back a bit, think about finishing and we got it done. I am just super-satisfied with this weekend and I did the best I could in race two. I am looking forward to the summer break now.”
Leon Haslam, stated: “I felt we had good pace today and we were there for that podium pace. I could catch Tom Sykes and Alex quite comfortably but in the end I just struggled with myself, not the bike. Especially braking into left hand corners - and there are a fair few of them here. I was disappointed with the crash yesterday and I have suffered all day today with my wrist and the pain transferred into my shoulder because I was not riding as freely. I can’t be too unhappy as it was my mistake when we crashed in Race One, but we have had a fifth and sixth today and were not far off the podium pace.”
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) had another strong weekend in WorldSBK, scoring fourth in the Tissot Superpole race and then going third in Race Two, adding to his Race One podium ride on Saturday.
Toprak Razgatlioglu, stated: “I was fourth in the Tissot-Superpole race and then in the long race I had a good feeling with the bike. I tried again to follow the leading riders but it was not possible. In the last ten laps the rear traction dropped but I am really happy to have scored a second podium at Laguna Seca. Now the Suzuka 8 Hours and then a holiday!”
Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) had his best weekend of the entire season in the USA, ending it with an eighth place in each Sunday race. He is 12th overall, but only three points from a top ten ranking.
Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) ended the first part of the season 15th in the overall standings after a ninth and then an 11th place finish on Sunday.
Next podium with the new BMW S 1000 RR for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team.
Tom Sykes finishes third to reach podium in the Superpole race at Laguna Seca.
British rider claims fifth place in afternoon's second race.
Markus Reiterberger in twelfth and 13th places on Sunday.
Laguna Seca. The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team has recorded another podium finish with the BMW S 1000 RR in the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK). Tom Sykes (GBR) secured third place in the Superpole race at Laguna Seca. This was the third podium for the new RR in its WorldSBK debut season. Sykes crossed the line fifth in the afternoon’s second race. Team-mate Markus Reiterberger (GER) finished the two races on Sunday in twelfth and 13th positions.
The Superpole sprint race in the morning was interrupted due to an accident shortly after the start, before restarting with a reduced, eight-lap format. Sykes secured fourth place on the grid, but Alvaro Bautista (ESP / Ducati) was missing from the front row. Sykes immediately moved into third place and crossed the line without ever being in danger of losing that position. Reiterberger started the sprint race from eleventh position, finishing in twelfth place.
In the afternoon, Sykes started race two from third place, while Reiterberger began in twelfth. Sykes lost one place in the first turn and remained fourth until lap 13, when Alex Lowes (GBR / Yamaha) passed him. He closed up on Lowes again, crossing the line just half a second behind him in fifth place. Reiterberger moved up to eleventh for a while after overtaking Sandro Cortese (GER / Yamaha). He maintained this position until the 14th lap, before falling back a little and finishing the race in 13th place.
The WorldSBK is now heading for a summer break. The tenth event of the season will take place from 6th to 8th September at Portimão (POR).
Quotes after race two at Laguna Seca.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “That was a good day to round off a great weekend – a podium in the Superpole race and then another solid performance and fifth place for Tom in the second race. Markus was able to improve throughout the day and close the gap to the riders in front. We have some homework to do and we won’t see our competitors again before the tests at Portimão at the end of August. A large part of the team is now heading for some well-deserved vacation time. We can be very pleased with the season so far as we have clearly exceeded our expectations.”
Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “Tom claimed a great result in today’s sprint race. He rode really well; to take the third position and a front row start for race two was a solid performance all around. In the race, as we hoped, he had a pretty good start, only Toprak got in front of him, he slotted in and was in a solid fourth position. He rode a good race. Alex Lowes got by him after he made a mistake and then he recovered well. He dropped two seconds and pulled that right back. If there had been another lap he probably would have got fourth back. So it was great progress by Tom and they can go into the summer break happy. Markus had a reasonably good day. The sprint race showed more progression but I was even more happy in the second race. He rode some pretty good lap times and overall it was a big improvement on his race one result. So overall we can be pleased going back home and we can make a plan exactly what we need to focus on in the next phase of the development of the bike.”
Tom Sykes: “We’ve come away again with a bag full of top-5 finishes, including a podium in the sprint race. Overall it was a very productive weekend for the whole BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. The bike seems to be not getting the best from the tyres at the moment but we got a lot of information this weekend and having said that it was a complete different story at the end of that race two. We had a lot of pace and I closed the gap to Alex Lowes so that’s certainly positive to take with us. We now have the summer break coming up so it’s just cool that at the right time we got a lot of information at the weekend and hopefully now the guys in the team can put this to good use. There are still areas to work on but overall the whole package is quite promising and having three podiums at the last three rounds is not too bad against these experienced manufacturers. I’m enjoying riding, have a great relationship with the team and BMW and it’s needless to say that we are heading in the right direction. I think everybody has seen that the progress we’ve made from the opening round until now has been quite impressive.”
Markus Reiterberger: “The restart in the Superpole race was great. I made up a few places and crossed the line in a decent twelfth position. For the second race, we chose different tyres to yesterday. They were reliable for the first 15 laps but then there was a big drop with lots of movement and then it was just about getting to the finish. Unfortunately, that meant I lost two places. I did have my eye on the top ten but I missed out on that, however, we did score a few points. I had hoped for more from the weekend as I know that I can do much better. That’s why I’m hoping we can find a way for me to attack properly with the bike and go really fast. We have to continue working on it and then the breakthrough will come. I would like to thank the team as they gave it everything again this weekend.“
Fighting Fourth for Lowes in Laguna Seca Race 2
Alex Lowes backed up a sixth-place finish in the Superpole Sprint Race this morning with a hard-fought fourth place in Race 2 at Laguna Seca, to end the weekend as the top-scoring Yamaha rider and to move up to third place in the championship standings. His Pata Yamaha WorldSBK teammate, Michael van der Mark, was unfortunate to miss out on a top ten finish after an incredible start to Race 2 when a technical problem forced his retirement after just four laps.
Lowes got a good start in the 10-lap Superpole sprint race but was forced to do it all again when the race was stopped on the second lap, following a crash at the Corkscrew for Yamaha wildcard rider JD Beach and Honda's Alessandro Delbianco. Lowes ended he restarted eight-lap sprint race in sixth position, to secure a second row start for Race 2.
Another good start in the feature race saw Lowes immediately embroiled in a battle with Tom Sykes and Leon Haslam for fourth place. The battle continued until just past half race distance when the Pata Yamaha rider made his move to pass Sykes and then pull away from his two pursuers to finish fourth. With 28 points from the three races this weekend, Lowes moved up the championship standings to third place, where he now has a five-point advantage over teammate van der Mark in fourth.
After a crash in qualifying left him 15th on the grid, van der Mark went into the Superpole race determined to finish inside the top nine and secure a starting position on the front three rows of the grid for Race 2. Unfortunately, the Pata Yamaha rider missed out by just one place, finishing the shortened race in tenth position.
A lightning start from the fifth row of the grid saw van der Mark cross the line at the end of the opening lap in tenth place and targeting the group ahead of him battling for fifth. The Pata Yamaha rider's challenge came to a premature end, however, when a technical problem forced his retirement from the race on lap four.
Loris Baz enjoyed a solid weekend in America, with seventh place in today's 25-lap feature race making it three top-ten finishes at Laguna Seca for the Ten Kate Yamaha Supported WorldSBK rider. The Frenchman moves up to 13th place in the championship standings with 76 points, despite having only contested three of the nine rounds this season.
It proved a more difficult weekend for the GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK riders, Sandro Cortese and Marco Melandri, but for different reasons. Cortese, making his debut at Laguna Seca this weekend, struggled with the effects of a shoulder injury sustained in his Donington Superpole crash and had to ride through the pain to pick up 2 points in 14th place today.
Melandri fared better, securing his second top ten finish of the weekend in ninth, despite struggling to make up for a starting position on the sixth row of the grid in the early stages of the race. At the halfway point the Italian was matching the lap times of the leading riders, but by that time the gap to the group ahead of him had stretched too far for him to regain contact and he was forced to settle for ninth place at the line.
Alex Lowes - P4 - Championship Position P3 - 220 Points
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK
"It was a fairly decent weekend, at a track at which we have always struggled a bit and were never really on the pace, but unfortunately it was the same for all the Yamahas. This afternoon I felt that I did the best that I could have - the leading trio were just too far ahead for me to make any inroads into their lead - so I'm fairly happy with fourth. The result means I've overtaken Michael in the championship standings and I'm now third, but it was a shame he had a problem with the bike today, as he's done such a great job here and at Donington so soon after his Misano injury. But that's racing sometimes and it's certainly going to make for an interesting final four rounds with both of us determined to finish the season in the top three. I'm now looking forward to the Suzuka 8hr with the Yamaha Factory Racing Team, a little bit of time off and then back to WorldSBK at Portimão, a track that suits the R1 well and at which we will try to fight at the front again."
Michael van der Mark - DNF - Championship Position P4 - 215 Points
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK
"We made some changes for the Superpole race that didn't quite work as we were expecting, which meant I missed out on the top nine by just one place and had to start Race 2 from the fifth row of the grid. I had a really good start, made some early passes and was up to ninth at the end of the first lap. I felt so much better with the bike, a lot more confident and I could see the group ahead weren't pulling away from me like they did yesterday. Once I managed to get past Loris Baz, I was feeling pretty comfortable and confident of gaining more places, but then we had a technical problem with the bike and I had to retire. It's a big shame, because I was feeling better on my R1 than I had all weekend and we lost quite a lot of points. Anyway, we have a fairly long break now, of course including the 8hr race which is always a big challenge, and I'm sure we'll be back really strong in Portimão - I love the track and I want to be fighting again to win."
Loris Baz - P7 - Championship Position P13 - 76 Points
Ten Kate Yamaha Supported WorldSBK
"I was happy with my pace in Race 2 today. We took a bit of a gamble going with the X rear tyre because we didn't know what to expect, but we had nothing to lose and here it's really hard to overtake, so I knew that going hard from the start to build a gap could work. I had the best feeling with the bike of the whole weekend; here the Yamahas have struggled a little with the rear on corner entry, but today was better. It wasn't easy to pass Jordi Torres, but once I was through, I just tried to be really consistent and not make any mistakes for the rest of the race. My pace at the end was a second and a half faster than yesterday, so I was happy to see such a big improvement. Three good races finished here and now we can look forward to testing at Portimão next month."
Marco Melandri - P9 - Championship Position P9 - 138 Points
GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK
"The goal was top nine and a decent grid position in the Superpole race, but I made a mistake trying to pass Markus Reiterberger and lost a lot of places. So, I started Race 2 from the sixth row at a track where it's really difficult to overtake and where I have struggled to get the best from the new tyres. I just didn't have the pace in the opening laps, but after 14 or 15 laps I was going much better, but by that time the gaps were too big, and it was too late. I would like to feel more comfortable on the bike, but this is the situation we're in at the moment and I can only continue to do my best."
Sandro Cortese - P14 - Championship Position P10 - 100 Points
GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK
"It was a tough day and I was just happy to finish the race and pick up two points. This wasn't our objective for the weekend, but it was all that was possible. Now I have to concentrate on my recovery during the summer break, to make sure I come back strong in Portimão ready for the last four races of the season. Thanks to the team for all their support this weekend and for doing such a great job. This was a tough race track to learn, especially with the injury, and a difficult weekend overall, but I've enjoyed my first visit to Laguna Seca and I'm looking forward to coming back to race here again."
Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing Manager
"It's been a tough weekend, but we can also take many positives away with us from Laguna Seca. On Friday we saw that our R1 wasn't as immediately competitive here at Laguna Seca as it has been at every other track this season, but our five riders made steady improvements over the course of the weekend and all were a lot more competitive in Race 2 this afternoon. Alex should be happy with his performance; he was consistently the quickest of the Yamaha riders and three solid race results here have elevated him to third in the championship standings. Unfortunately, this came at the expense of Michael, who also looked like he was on for a good result after an incredible start today, before a technical problem forced him to retire. It's a shame his weekend ended this way, especially after doing such a great job so soon after a serious injury, but I'm sure the additional recovery time between now and Portimão will allow him to come back stronger than ever. The effects of Sandro's Donington Superpole crash were worse than anticipated and he did well to finish the three races on such a physically demanding track this weekend. It was also a struggle for his GRT Yamaha teammate Marco, but he and the team never gave up and worked hard to make him more comfortable on the bike. The results of their hard work could be clearly seen in the second half of the race today, with Marco able to match the pace of the leading group. Congratulations to Loris on three top-ten finishes this weekend. The speed at which he and the Ten Kate Yamaha team have got to grips with racing the Yamaha R1 is a testament both to their work ethic and the competitiveness of our package. Now we focus on making another step forward at next month's Portimão test, to ensure we finish the season as strongly as we started it."
THE PASSION FOR RACING HELPS THROUGH PAIN
There are no words to describe the American weekend of Eugene and the Go Eleven Team: having arrived here with the minimum of expectations, already being able to run in free practice seemed like a miracle.
Instead, the Irish rider showed courage and passion to sell, enduring the pain throughout the weekend and not even skipping a session to save himself.
He surprised everyone, including the experts, but he showed how much love for racing can affect a small guy from Toomebridge.
Nothing more to add, chapeau to his perseverance!
The Californian Sunday opens with a conservative and somewhat problematic Warm Up for Eugene. The new solutions tried after yesterday, in order to help him in riding, did not give the desired results.
Everything is rearranged like in Race 1, then, and ready for the Superpole Race!
Warm Up: P 16 1'24.909 + 2.058
The Superpole Race starts, but on the first lap the red flag is displayed, following the crashes of Bautista, Delbianco and Beach. No physical consequences for the riders involved, but everything to be redone over the 8 laps distance. Eugene tries to be conservative from the perspective of Race 2, avoiding the risks of a race that assigns half points and benefits only the first nine.
Eugene takes his V4-R to fourteenth position, maintaining a steady pace.
Superpole Race: P 14 E. Laverty +18.917
Race 2 starts with great uncertainty: completing the second race of the day (25 laps), after having suffered only a few hours before finishing 8 laps, would have been a more than historical challenge.
But Eugene, stoic and determined, concentrated, set a pace in line with his direct rivals and even came back in the final!
And you think that at the end of the race he was a bit disappointed because his injured right wrist allowed him to overtake in a single point, losing so much time behind slower riders!
Eugene Laverty (Rider):
"We finished the weekend in a good way! To overtake two riders in the last part of the race was a nice surprise because I expected to go backwards at that point.
So, eleven positions yesterday and twelve today, but in reality today was the best race. It's nice to ride my bike again even if I am not in perfect conditions.
I am happy to start the summer break, recover 100% and come back fighting for the podium in Portimao."
Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):
Only 4 days ago nobody could have thought that EuGenio would have managed to race here in Laguna Seca, they gave it for crazy! And instead he silenced everyone with a really impressive test of character and tenacity. In the physical condition in which he raced was unbelievable that he could do two such races and with these results.
The team did a great job trying to change the position on the seat in order to make him possible to ride; the still semi-clasped right wrist requires a particular style of riding, therefore a different seat and handlebars, which, even if on one side contributed to make all this possible, on the other it was an inevitable limit for the bike set up.
We are still satisfied, we received all the signals of which, both us and Laverty, we needed to think we could make a season finale as protagonists. The summer break will be useful to return to 100%!"
With this incredible performance, Eugene gave the whole team a boost.
Now the WorldSBK goes on holiday for almost two months, but after the summer break the Go Eleven Team, with his ensign Eugene Laverty, will be ready to hunt down the top riders!
Kiyonari improves his feeling on the final day of racing at Laguna Seca
Ryuichi Kiyonari made slight improvement in terms of both his feeling and speed on the third and final day of action at the Laguna Seca racetrack. Having crossed the line fifteenth in the morning’s Tissot Superpole race, the Japanese rider replicated that result in the subsequent 25-lap Superbike race.
The championship now heads into its summer break, the next SBK round on the calendar scheduled to take place at Portimao (Portugal) over the weekend of 6-8 September.
Before returning to action in the Superbike World Championship though, Ryuichi Kiyonari will compete in the iconic Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race in Japan, as part of the HRC Team alongside fellow countryman Takumi Takahashi and German rider Stefan Bradl, the race taking place on 28 July.
Ryuichi Kiyonari 23
Superpole race: 15th - Race 2: 15th
“I wish to thank everyone in the team because they have done a great job. I’m a sensitive rider and when the situation is challenging, I really feel it. I like the track here but it’s quite a demanding one and I struggled all weekend with the lack of grip. The team was able to support me in the best way, working hard on every aspect in terms of managing the racing weekend and the bike’s setup, and this allowed me to make a little progress during each session. I felt better during this morning’s warm-up and then again in both the sprint race and the long one. I know of course that the results are still not good enough, but we never give up and continue to do our best”.
An unlucky day for Delbianco at Laguna Seca
Monterey (USA), Sunday 14 July 2019
The US round of the Superbike World Championship round has come to an end at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in California, rider Alessandro Delbianco and the Althea Racing Team concluding race 2 in seventeenth position.
The 10-lap Superpole race got underway at 11am but unfortunately it didn’t even last one lap for Delbianco, who suffered a crash almost immediately at turn 8, an incident that saw the race brought to a halt with the red flag. The race was restarted a few minutes later but unfortunately the young Italian rider was unable to participate as the damage to his bike could not be fixed in such a short space of time.
The team worked hard to have Delbianco’s CBR1000RR SP2 ready in time for the second Superbike race. From nineteenth on the grid, Alessandro was lying seventeenth through the opening phase. Earning one position on lap four, the Italian struggled to maintain a good pace, crossing the line in eventual seventeenth position.
“I’m really sorry about the crash in the sprint race, and particularly the fact that it also caused Beach to crash too. I hoped to make up for things in the second Superbike race but I didn’t have the same feeling I had yesterday and so I struggled to maintain the necessary pace. It’s been a great experience racing here at Laguna Seca for the first time, but I would have liked to do more. Thanks to my team, as they’ve worked so hard for me this weekend.”
Gerloff Gets His First Career Superbike Win
Fong And Landers Win Supersport And Junior Cup Races
MONTEREY, CA (July 14, 2019)– Garrett Gerloff fulfilled a life-long dream today in the Championship of Monterey, the 23-year-old Texan winning the first MotoAmerica Superbike race of his career in front of a record crowd at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
In what was his 32ndcareer Superbike race in his sophomore season in the class, Gerloff was dominant. The two-time Supersport Champion was second off the start behind Toni Elias, made the pass early, and was never headed, pulling away to a 4.449 second win.
With Gerloff, who earned his second career Superbike pole position on Saturday, riding off into the sunset, the battle for second was just that. A battle. The protagonists were Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias and Gerloff’s Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing teammate Cameron Beaubier and the pair exchanged body blows to the bitter end with Elias coming out on top by just .326 of a second after 23 laps of the 2.2-mile WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
“It feels so good,” Gerloff said. “I was telling the TV earlier, I know it’s just a race win and these guys get wins all the time and I used to, but I haven’t for a while. There’s been a lot of emotions the past year and a half, getting used to the Superbike and everything. These guys haul ass everywhere. It’s tough, stiff competition out there. It’s been a long road. There’s been a lot of ups and downs. To finally get it and to do it here even more in front of the World Superbike guys and everything, it’s just something that I’ve wanted for so long, something that’s been on my bucket list forever. When I started racing, I was watching the MotoAmerica guys, AMA guys back in the day. That was one of the things that I wanted to accomplish in my life. To finally say that I got just one win, it just feels awesome. I’m ecstatic, for sure.”
The second-place finish for Elias may not have been a win on the day, but it was as far as the championship goes as he now leads Beaubier by 39 points, 246-207. Gerloff, meanwhile, is third in the series standings with 181 points after his first career Superbike victory.
“Congratulations for Garrett,” Elias said. “The first one is very special, and in Laguna Seca it’s amazing. I’m not happy about today. I’m kind of pissed off. Nothing came as I was struggling today. I made a couple of changes. The bike this morning was feeling so great, much better than yesterday in cold conditions but when the races start, I was losing the rear, the front. Mistake with the setup today, but it’s okay. We tried to manage the situation. My strategy didn’t work, too. I was thinking that I was able to catch Garrett, but it was impossible. Also, I had a false neutral, like last year. We didn’t have this problem in all this season, but sometimes happen and it happened today. But my team is giving me everything they can. They are working so, so good. We are in a good situation. Always it’s him. Always it’s Cam (Beaubier). When Cam is there, he’s right behind me. Unfortunately, we fight each other and I’m just trying to open the gap little by little, but it’s difficult to open the gap. Difficult not to do mistakes. Like Road America in the last corner. So, let’s continue like this. It’s going to be so difficult, so long. Anything can happen. Try to win the most races as possible. If not, second as today is good. Five points more. It’s good for the championship. I’m happy for leading a little bit more. I had some extra, but let’s continue.”
Beaubier was third for the second day in a row after controlling most of practice and qualifying.
“Yeah, that was a tough one,” Beaubier said. “That was a tough pill to swallow. Yesterday was a pretty frustrating race. Last night we went over some stuff. Made some good changes. I was feeling really confident, really good going into today’s race. Just didn’t pan out like I wanted to. Hats off to my teammate, Garrett. He rode incredible. I know exactly how that feels. I wish I was up there dicing with him. Had a really tough battle with Josh (Herrin) and Toni, and I felt like us roughing each other up just let that gap open pretty quick. There was no way we were closing it. Like I said, I was pretty damn frustrated coming off the track. I was pretty heated, especially getting beat by Toni there at the end. But Garrett put me in a good mood, seeing how happy he was. I’m just really happy for him. I got an amazing support system. Just want to thank everybody for their support. Thanks all the fans for coming out. And we’ll move onto Sonoma.”
Fourth place went Elias’ Yoshimura Suzuki teammate Josh Herrin, the Georgian in the mix for second place early in the race before fading back to the clutches of Attack Performance Estenson Racing’s JD Beach, the Kentuckian beaten up from a morning crash in the first of two World Superbike races on Sunday. Herrin was able to beat Beach to the line by some two seconds.
Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz rebounded from a race crash yesterday to finish sixth today, the South African holding off Scheibe Racing BMW’s Jake Gagne at the finish. M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis was eighth with Omega Moto’s Cameron Petersen and Uribe Racing’s Jayson Uribe rounding out the top 10 finishers.
Supersport – Fong Takes Over
To wrap up the weekend, the Supersport class took to the track for their one scheduled race at the MotoAmerica Championship of Monterey, and it was a good one, especially for M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Bobby Fong. The California rider got a great jump off the front row at the start, and also got the holeshot over Rickdiculous Racing Yamaha rider Hayden Gillim. Fong was never headed in the race, and Gillim ultimately crashed out unhurt, which contributed to Fong taking the victory over second-place finisher PJ Jacobsen aboard the Celtic HSBK Racing Yamaha and 2 Wheel Legal - Hudson Motorcycles Yamaha rider Richie Escalante in third. The win vaulted Fong into the Supersport Championship lead with an 18-point advantage over Gillim in second.
After his third Supersport victory of the season, Fong said, “On my pitboard, I saw plus zero. I never knew I had a one-second gap, so I just kept on pushing. Honestly, I was making quite a few mistakes and going a little bit slower than I felt like I should have been. My guys gave me the chill board, and I had to back it down a little bit. I came back around and then I saw the plus two and I was like, ‘Okay, we’ve got a little cushion.’ I don’t know what happened. I try not to look back really when I’m racing. I just ran consistent pace the whole time and just raced my board, basically. It was good. My guys were on it with the board today. I’ve got to give it up to them. It was a short weekend for us. We didn’t have much track time. The first two sessions we were kind of all over the place but thank God I’ve got a good crew and they figured it out overnight. We made some good changes for today’s race, and it paid off.”
Liqui Moly Junior Cup – Landers Dominates
Sunday’s Liqui Moly Junior Cup race was another dominant performance by Ninja400R.com/Norton Motorsports/Dr. Farr Kawasaki rider Rocco Landers, who started from the pole and led from start to finish to notch his seventh win out of nine races so far this year.
The order of finish for the other two podium finishers was hotly contested between Quarterley Racing/On Track Development Kawasaki’s Dallas Daniels and Altus Motorsports Kawasaki’s Kevin Olmedo. The two riders diced back and forth throughout most of the race, and Olmedo made a brave move on Daniels coming into the last turn on the final lap of the 12-lap contest, but Daniels was able to fend off his rival and cross the finish line second with Olmedo coming home third.
“My plan was to just go as fast as possible in the beginning, and make a little gap,” Landers said. “I just tried to never look back. I didn’t believe it. Coming into the last corner, I was like, ‘I did not expect to do that.’ Then I just tried to push and tried to make really good lap times.”