2015 Laguna Seca World Superbike Race Two Results: The Californian Drought Ends Here

In the first race, Leon Haslam used different tyres to the rest of the field and looked like he would repeat his choice for race two, but instead, at the last minute, he switched to the same tyres as everyone else. 

Just like the first race, Chaz Davies hit the Andretti hairpin first with two Kawasakis charging through from the second row behind him, with Tom Sykes ahead of Jonathan Rea this time. Davide Giugliano fended off the challenge from Jordi Torres this time but was instead stuck behind Leon Haslam.

On the second lap, rain flags showed up in sector three; Davide Giugliano crashed out on turn six, just before sector three. He leaned over on the left-handed turn and both tyres tucked, throwing him from the bike as it hit the gravel. He was slow to get up and was taken straight to the medical centre.

In an unusual move, Alex Lowes took a huge gamble and pitted in to get rain tyres, even though the track was't wet. Unfortunately, as he entered, his move was so unexpected, Sylvain Guintoli didn't consider that Lowes would slow down and ploughed into his rear tyre, crashing his bike in the process. Lowes made it to his spot and got his tyres changed while Guintoli limped in shortly after.

As Davies led the front group of four riders past the pit lane exit for the fourth time, Lowes exited the pits a lap down and on decidedly the wrong tyres. Chaz Davies decided that the rain was psychological rain and pushed as if it were not raining, but waiting to crash nonetheless. He didn't crash and had a second lead as Sykes, Rea and Haslam behind him decided against risking it as much.

On the sixth lap, at turn six, Tom Sykes lost grip just like Davide Giugliano did earlier, only he saved it after the rear tyre bit and recovered alongside an opportunistic Jonathan Rea. A second behind, Leon Haslam was treated to the sight of both Kawasaki riders riding side by side into and out of the corkscrew, neither relinquishing their position even slightly. Somehow, Tom Sykes, after four corners of formation riding with his teammate, came out on top, but their advantage over Haslam was gone.

Once again, Rea was determined yet unable to pass his teammate and the pair returned to their fighting pace, dropping Haslam into a lonely place between Rea and a rampant Jordi Torres. The gap between Torres and Haslam would shrink as Torres was determined to catch and pass his Aprilia teammate.

Chaz Davies managed his lead of over three seconds, watching his lap times and getting plenty of feedback from his pitboard, as Tom Sykes tried to break free from Jonathan Rea. As Jordi Torres caught fourth-placed Leon Haslam, Sykes escaped to over a second from Rea, but that wouldn't last.

As Sykes said to Rea at the start of the egg and spoon relay at Donington Park, determining who would hold the spoon first, "Im a better starter and you're a better finisher," and this looked like it would come true once more as Rea caught Sykes at the start of lap sixteen. Six seconds behind, Torres would also pass Haslam, with Haslam having to make a return pass several corners later.

A mistake by Rea a few laps later would mean he had it all to do again, an effort that took four more laps. Four laps from the end, Torres also passed Haslam again, but this time, Haslam had fourth place back the very next corner.

The next lap, Rea overshot turn two slightly, managing not to end up in the Andretti Hairpin's gravel and gave Sykes nine tenths of a second, but he made up for that mistake, catching Sykes on the penultimate lap. Torres passed Haslam over twelve seconds behind the Kawasakis.

On the last lap, Jonathan Rea once again overcooked turn two and once again managed to come out without incident, but the gap he gave to Tom Sykes was too much to make up to both catch and pass and both riders would have fast but uneventful laps.

Chaz Davies would bestow a double victory upon Ducati for the first time in three years and show form that we were denied last year at Laguna Seca with his concussion injury. Pole position and two wins for the man who spent a couple of seasons in the American Superbike championship were earned with a dominant show where it mattered and did no harm in his title challenge, clawing another five points from second-placed Sykes.

Tom Sykes reduced Jonathan Rea's lead to a mere 125 points with eight races left, meaning Rea could win the title in the next race weekend in Malaysia, but it's more likely that we will have to wait until at least September in Jerez for the championship to be decided.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap Best Lap Speed
1 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale R   1'23.955 252,2
2 66 T. SYKES Kawasaki ZX-10R 1.406 1'23.842 256,4
3 65 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10R 1.982 1'23.872 257,6
4 81 J. TORRES Aprilia RSV4 RF 16.551 1'24.309 254,0
5 91 L. HASLAM Aprilia RSV4 RF 17.772 1'24.195 258,9
6 86 A. BADOVINI BMW S1000 RR 31.735 1'24.902 247,5
7 60 M. VD MARK Honda CBR1000RR SP 34.446 1'25.159 249,8
8 59 N. CANEPA Ducati Panigale R 38.048 1'25.224 252,2
9 36 L. MERCADO Ducati Panigale R 41.755 1'25.374 252,8
10 2 L. CAMIER MV Agusta F4 RR 49.105 1'25.013 248,1
11 14 R. DE PUNIET Suzuki GSX-R1000 56.249 1'25.694 246,4
12 40 R. RAMOS Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'01.630 1'25.887 241,4
13 15 M. BAIOCCO Ducati Panigale R 1'12.647 1'25.818 248,7
14 45 G. VIZZIELLO Kawasaki ZX-10R 1 Lap 1'27.557 239,7
15 23 C. PONSSON Kawasaki ZX-10R 1 Lap 1'27.770 239,7
16 75 G. RIZMAYER BMW S1000 RR 1 Lap 1'28.870 243,0
17 10 I. TOTH BMW S1000 RR 2 Laps 1'30.328 237,6
18 51 S. BARRAGÁN Kawasaki ZX-10R 3 Laps 1'28.824 235,0

 

Round Number: 
9
2015
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Comments

He was incredibly lucky, came away with just some contusions. It did look really bad!

His crash looked bad because he rag dolled across the kitty litter, but it wasn't nearly as bad as the start of the second MotoAmerica SBK race. That was sad. I really hope those guys are OK.

I just saw this on Soup
http://superbikeplanet.com/2015/Jul/150719mcw.htm

I was sitting in the grandstands, and I saw the guy put his hand up when he had a problem off the start line. It's the worst thing in racing to stall your bike at the start. He drifted a little to the right and got collected from behind and one of those 2 guys got hit by another bike. I saw one of the riders laying prone on the track the others tumbled into the dirt. He didn't get up. My wife started to cry. We've been around racing for a long time now. We know what it means when someone doesn't get up. Racers are tough. They always get up to be tended to somewhere else if they can. I knew it was bad, I didn't know it was this bad.

I found a forum post saying the 2 riders are Daniel Rivas and Bernat Martinez. One of the posters was a First Responder and said there wasn't much they could do:

http://www.southbayriders.com/forums/threads/147383/#post-2011150

RRW just posted a story confirming they are the two riders that passed, along with accident details and a press release from MotoAmerica:

http://www.roadracingworld.com/news/two-riders-killed-in-motoamerica-eve...

Sincere condolences to the families and friends of both riders.

The start of any race is an incredibly dangerous time and I feel that serious consideration should be given to the introduction of rolling starts behind a safety car to reduce the risk of a tragic re-occurrence in the future.

RIP Dani & Bernat.

Are you kidding me? If there's anything more dangerous than a standing start it's a rolling one.

So I guess that's the reason that they're used in BSB after a dangerous incident? Maybe you and Stuart Higgs should meet and discuss?

I haven't seen the incident. And will never see it. But rolling or standing. Outcome could have been the same. If the bike stops when rolling,same thing. I don't see one being better than the other.

It's a sad day for our community. But let's not go all left wing and start changing things for the sake of change.

I remember the same beef-headed objections being raised when push-starts were replaced. Davies said that they run a long first gear so add that to a highly tuned motor (and an incline) and guess what could happen. Stall. Let's be smart enough to learn from this terrible tragedy.

Rolling starts is a suggestion, but picture this: You're on the third row of the grid staring at the lights. Your heart-rate is 220 bpm, and your engine is at 15,000 rpm. The lights go out but your motor stalls. You raise your hand but, in an instant, a 120 mph missile has struck you from behind knocking you senseless to the floor. A millisecond later, another 120 mph missile rides over you and, suddenly you're dead. But it doesn't end there, because although you're now dead, your bike has a life of its own and brings down other riders causing further injury and more fatality. It's little short of appalling. Yet, despite this avoidable carnage, there are those who reject the call for simple, safety measures. Queens of the Stone Age.

Never seen a bike accelerate to 120 in 2 seconds.

I get what you're saying. But I think it was a terrible tragedy that happens in a dangerous sport.

To play Devils advocate , let's say you're rolling at 20 MPH and you hit the gas and nothing happens. You raise your hand and.....

You see, it wasn't the standing start that cause the incident. It was just the way it was going to happen. We play a dangerous game. And sometimes it bites back. RIP to to pilots and thoughts and prayers for their families.

It is a dangerous sport and tragic events like this serve to highlight that fact. There's no completely safe way to start a race but in my opinion, a grid start is like an explosion in a confined space - accidents are an almost inevitable consequence and a reminder that more needs to be done.

Traction control, did you happen to watch the incident? He was well on his way, under power, when the issue happened. Wasn't stationary, didn't screw the pooch and stall the launch, it was a mechanical failure, and like I said with Turn 1 so close at Laguna, you start looking through the corner and thinking about lines. That's where it occurred.

Just a combination of bad factors that caused a pretty minor impact to snowball into a massive accident.

Rolling start wouldn't have helped avoid this as they were already rolling and under hard acceleration.

I have read reports and eye-witness accounts which suggest that Dani's bike launched but suddenly slowed at a time when those around him were still accelerating as hard as possible. I feel that a rolling start would allow more margin for error or machine failure than the current grid system by releasing machines into the race in a more controlled manner. Extending the grid as you suggest may give riders more time to attempt to react, but would also result in them travelling at even higher speed before they cross the start line making evasive action even more difficult. But as you say, there's no easy solution for dealing with the problem of the huge speed differentials created between a pack of machines accelerating as fast as they can, and one that fails to start or suddenly slows just after the start.

... if we changed the rules, regulations and conditions every time an accident happened, I don't think a lot of racing would be done.

Like politics, what we currently have is the outcome of years of experimentation, experience, and practicality. Bye and large, it works. Occasionally the wheels fall off. The guys who line up each weekend understand this.

Condolences to family and friends of the riders, very sad.

.. that's the attitude that show's how little is getting done. This tragedy was avoidable. Sooner or later, people will wake-up to the fact that death in sport is completely unacceptable. To say that racers accept the risk is nothing but an old, Isle of Man TT, cop-out. This isn't road racing for brain-out, dare-devils - it's circuit racing in a supposedly controlled environment where risk is to be managed and minimised. We have to respond to tragic occurrences like this - each and every time. It's a moral obligation.

The fact that you say death in sport is "completely unacceptable". Proves to me that you need to quit watching all type of sport. Especially motor racing. This IS a dangerous sport. It has been and always will be. Period. Death happens, as much as we wish it didn't, it does. It happens in the pro level as well on simple things such as track days. Why, because IT'S DANGEROUS.

There is no "cop-out" and your ignorance on the matter is a slap in face to those that line up on Sunday and especially to those that passed away this weekend. They accepted the risks. They have been accepting them for a very long time.

We always learn from tragedy, and organizers try to make things as safe as they can be. I'm not sure if this was avoidable or if it wasn't. But I do know that the all the pilots on that grid knew the risks. You don't think about it, you can't. But you know it's a possibility. We can't go wrapping bubble tape around riders or send them out 1 by 1 to see who can go the fastest. Because guess what, things will still happen. Riders will perish doing what they love. And we will morn for their families and our community.

Case in point, F1. It has been a long time since a driver has passed away in F1. They have been on the forefront of safety since Senna. But last year, things happened and remind us that for all the glory and champagne each weekend, the sports we love to watch and compete in. Are in fact very dangerous. And sometimes, no matter how much work has been done, freak occurrences happen. Like the one to Jules and to those this weekend.

Should they move the line back? Maybe. Would that be safer? Maybe. Maybe not. Rolling vs Standing, who knows.

One thing I do know is that when riders feel it is unsafe to race, they don't. AMA a few years ago in Kansas. Half the grid didn't feel the circuit was safe and didn't ride. So don't sit there and tell me or anyone else that it's a cop-out.

Now, I'm done on this subject as you have raised my heart rate to unsafe levels. I guess they need to have filters on websites so that I can be safer browsing.

RIP for the fallen. Godspeed to those that line up week end and week out. Where ever you are and what ever level you are.

You're probably feeling fraught through mental strain. We're trying to debate here - we don't always agree, but then we don't throw rocks around at one another either. Are you against improving safety, or do you think it's adequate and that a couple of deaths are par for the course in a dangerous game? Try to respond without having a aneurysm or similar.

traction control wrote "Thankfully, I didn't see the tragedy.
I have read reports and eye-witness accounts which suggest that Dani's bike launched but suddenly slowed at a time when those around him were still accelerating as hard as possible.

You haven't watched the incident, yet you are pushing forth your fixes as if you witnessed the incident and have the experience in the sport to know how it all works. That makes me want to ask a question, maybe 2. Have you ever lined up for a motorcycle race on the grid? Amateur or Pro? My guess is you haven't. If not, have you ever cornerworked (worked as a track marshal) at a racetrack? My guess is again, no. If that's the case I find it interesting that you have all the answers with no track experience, of any kind.

traction control wrote With respect ...
.. that's the attitude that show's how little is getting done. This tragedy was avoidable. Sooner or later, people will wake-up to the fact that death in sport is completely unacceptable. To say that racers accept the risk is nothing but an old, Isle of Man TT, cop-out.

You are clueless about risk when it comes to motorcycle competition. As 41BP said, motorsports aren't the place for fans that think "death in sport is completely unacceptable". All racers understand the risk they take when they throw their leg over their bike. Is it something they think about and dwell on? No, not unless they're forced to at times like this last weekends incident. Are they aware it could happen to any of them? Yep, or they're being unrealistic and in complete denial. The danger/risk starts when they hit the garage door and enter into the pits. Anything can happen at anytime, sometimes it does.

I was watching the live streaming of the start and knew that Fernandez had slowed & thrown up his hand. I didn't see any impacts on the live start but did notice the speed differences were increasing because the guys at the back of the grid, had more distance to get up to speed. When they focused TV back on the aftermath of the incident I saw Fernandez on the track, not moving. I noticed that several of the marshals responding to the incident were friends and fellow marshals. I felt for them because incidents with serious injuries, or worse, are the hardest to deal with for marshals, naturally. We have a job to do and must concentrate on that in these incidents. However, something that is drilled into our heads as track marshals is that we must always make sure that we watch our own safety as well as that of our fellow marshals anytime we're inside the fence of the racetrack. If we get hurt, we've only added to the incident instead of clearing it. It's not only the riders that can get hurt or killed. It seldom happens but I know of a few marshals lost over the nearly 3 decades I've been marshalling. In that time I've had bikes (and sidecars) go under, over and on both sides of me. Never at the same time, other than being split around by 2 bikes, one on each side, on 2 different occasions. One time at about 120mph, got to love adrenaline.

Unlike others, I went in search of video online of the incident on Monday. I needed to understand what had happened so I could see if I could think of any ideas to help alleviate it next or even a solution. Numerous spectator versions were up and available to show what happened. From a number of locations. It didn't take long to figure out what had happened. Especially after talking with a few witnesses and reading statements by a few racers. Fernandez was kicked off his bike and then hit. It appears that Martinez also got tangled in the mess, colliding with other riders and motorcycles. FYI to all, this incident started before the finish line and ended just after the pedestrian overhead walkway that's well before the right bend of Turn 1. I don't believe Turn 1 was a factor in anyone's decisions on where to go. That was simply trying to avoid each other.

This was nothing more than a tragic racing incident. I really don't see anything that could be changed that would help. When a bike stalls in the front 1/3 of the grid, it becomes increasingly dangerous as the racers behind try to parse their way through all those around them as well as slower bikes in front of them as their speed increases. Whether they be slightly slower or much slower. Let's say you're hot on the rear of two bikes a couple bike lengths in front of you and they suddenly separate around a downed bike or rider. You don't necessarily have time to deviate enough to avoid collision. It's a racing incident, unfortunately in this instance 2 young men left us. At least they were doing something they loved. I hope I'm lucky enough to be doing something I enjoy when my number is drawn to wheelie into the sky.

"We always learn from tragedy, and organizers try to make things as safe as they can be."

Remember when Gibby flipped at Catalunya and it took 6 years to get brake guard rules? Remember when the MSMA replaced the 250s by increasing weight and power by 35%, and Tomizawa died b/c of a on-track collision? They made a lot of changes after that, IIRC. Remember when Simoncelli died, and they increased displacement and weight? Next year GP is increasing fuel capacity. The organizers don't learning anything, and your endorsement of their safety incompetence is nauseating.

With each new formula, people demand more power and higher trap speeds. The sport falls apart at the seams and body counts trend upward, yet people demand more. Personally, I'm sick of it. Superbikes don't sell. In fact, they are illegal in many countries, or inaccessible due to licensing/insurance/tax laws. SBKs are not safe to race at many popular tracks, and they don't make money for the manufacturers. Worst of all, no one is watching Superbike, especially not MotoAmerica Superbike.

Unabashed stupidity can only reign for so long. Eventually, someone in the GPC or SBK Commission will inadvertently blurt out something that resembles cogent thought.

Starts are just one of those things.... Especially at Laguna with the kinked straight Turn 1. Only thing you could do is consider moving the grid back a little bit towards Turn 11 so there is more run up to Turn 1. That way any issues off the line, at least the bikes are still going straight?

This accident arguably happened because the riders started turning for Turn 1 already and as we know once your bike is leaning over your options for avoiding things not only becomes severely limited but your attention is now thru the corner to the exit so your brain isn't thinking about stalled bikes anymore.

As bummed as people get that MotoGP doesn't go to Laguna Seca anymore, you can see why. Guiliano 's crash in WSBK Race 2 was also startling. I'm amazed and glad he only different some bruising.

That was nasty. I thought for sure a broken ankle or leg. Glad to see he alright and will race in Sepang.

"The second race I was fully fired up for a good fight to try and get involved at the front but immediately on the first lap it felt like I had a front puncture, the bike was folding everywhere and I had no choice but to come into the pit. The bike itself felt perfect, the same as race one, but we will have to investigate the situation with the tyre Because it was spitting with rain and the race was effectively over having come in, we threw wet tyres on just in case the rain got heavy which would have allowed us to get back involved. Unfortunately the rain didn’t come, I was out for a few laps but it was clear there was nothing more to be gained." - From the Suzuki Press Release