Jonathan Rea led into the first turn but Tom Sykes led out of it with Chaz Davies following him into second place. Davide Giugliano was fourth behind the world champion with Nicky Hayden behind him. After a few laps, Sykes, Davies and Rea built a gap from Giugliano and Hayden who themselves had a small gap from Alex Lowes and Lorenzo Savadori.
On the fifth lap, Chaz Davies forced Tom Sykes wide, making enough of a gap for Jonathan Rea to follow him through but as Davies entered turn five, his Ducati's rear wheel looked like it gripped too hard, possibly with too much engine braking, and as Davies leaned in, the front lost adhesion as the bike leaned too far. Rider and bike went into the sandy gravel expensively.
Chaz Davies chased his crashed bike but it was a lost cause and he would not be able rejoin the race.
Jonathan Rea finally had a chance to lead the race and overcooked the corkscrew as he missed the braking point, but he was able to get back onto the racing line in time to block Sykes's inevitable pass attempt. Davide Giugliano in third place closed up and latched onto the back of the Kawasaki pair.
Nine laps in, the gap from Giugliano to Hayden was over two seconds and climbing and Rea tried to break away at the front as the front three spread out but at half race distance, the front three had bunched up again. Nicky Hayden in fourth place was joined first by Alex Lowes then Lorenzo Savadori with Michael van der Mark closing in on the battle further back in seventh place.
On lap thirteen, Davide Giugliano crashed out at turn five. Hayden was suddenly defending a podium place, six seconds behind Rea and Sykes. Lowes showed the Yamaha's strengths as he looked for ways to pass Hayden, but behind them, Savadori was joined by van der Mark and it was a four-way fight for the podium.
On lap seventeen of twenty five, Jonathan Rea missed his braking at the entry to the corkscrew again and took the Marquez line across the run-off. Tom Sykes needed no more invitation than that and thrust through to first place. Sykes led the Kawasaki pair, over nine seconds clear from the podium battle and potential American glory.
Nicky Hayden knows Laguna Seca is a hard track to make passes work at and set about making his Honda as wide as possible, fending off Alex Lowes, forcing the Englishman to try off-track excursions as ways past, but he held fast. Behind him, Michael van der Mark could also smell the podium and, after dispatching the Aprilia of Lorenzo Savadori, one lap from the end, van der Mark squeezed underneath Lowes into the Andretti hairpin at the beginning of the lap and held a devilishly tight line to stop Lowes from getting a switchback pass on him on the exit. Van der Mark then attached himself to the back of Hayden and bided his time.
On the last few laps, Jonathan Rea had used his last remaining tyre to push free from Tom Sykes, and he held the lead to the flag, winning by under a second at the head of a Kawasaki one-two. Behind them, a Honda three-four was on the cards, but van der Mark pounced into the notorious last corner on to the straight and took third place from his teammate and nearly caused a coming together. Hayden kept his cool and let van der Mark run wide on the exit of the corner and powered past cleanly. Hayden charged to the flag for third place and the last step of the podium.
Jonathan Rea extends his championship lead from Tom Sykes to seventy one points while Chaz Davies, with three DNFs in three weekends, drops to fifty three points behind Sykes and one hundred and twenty four behind Rea. Nicky Hayden, apart from earning the right to drag The Stars and Stripes to the podium, closed to within three points of Davide Giugliano in fifth place and eleven points of Michael van der mark in fourth place in the championship.
|1||1||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1'23.525 259,5||1'22.210 259,5|
|2||66||T. SYKES||Kawasaki ZX-10R||0.819||1'23.526 257,0||1'22.155 257,6|
|3||69||N. HAYDEN||Honda CBR1000RR SP||12.296||1'23.832 256,4||1'22.988 255,2|
|4||60||M. VAN DER MARK||Honda CBR1000RR SP||13.067||1'24.247 254,6||1'23.455 251,0|
|5||22||A. LOWES||Yamaha YZF R1||13.335||1'23.854 256,4||1'23.116 253,4|
|6||32||L. SAVADORI||Aprilia RSV4 RF||13.816||1'23.990 253,4||1'23.096 246,9|
|7||12||X. FORÉS||Ducati Panigale R||15.541||1'24.144 244,7||1'22.979 246,9|
|8||81||J. TORRES||BMW S1000 RR||15.838||1'24.598 252,8||1'23.085 251,0|
|9||15||A. DE ANGELIS||Aprilia RSV4 RF||19.999||1'24.537 254,6||1'23.661 252,8|
|10||59||N. CANEPA||Yamaha YZF R1||22.832||1'24.800 251,6||1'23.098 251,0|
|11||2||L. CAMIER||MV Agusta 1000 F4||24.065||1'24.873 250,4||1'23.459 248,1|
|12||13||A. WEST||Kawasaki ZX-10R||28.902||1'24.815 248,7||1'24.128 247,5|
|13||25||J. BROOKES||BMW S1000 RR||39.957||1'24.819 253,4||1'24.598 249,2|
|14||17||K. ABRAHAM||BMW S1000 RR||46.552||1'25.460 251,0||1'24.811 249,8|
|15||40||R. RAMOS||Kawasaki ZX-10R||55.791||1'25.580 246,4||1'24.788 245,8|
|16||9||D. SCHMITTER||Kawasaki ZX-10R||59.021||1'26.042 246,4||1'25.354 250,4|
|17||56||P. SEBESTYÉN||Yamaha YZF R1||1 Lap||1'26.971 240,8||1'26.859 238,1|
|18||119||P. SZKOPEK||Yamaha YZF R1||1 Lap||1'26.524 243,6||1'25.970 238,1|
|RET||11||S. AL SULAITI||Kawasaki ZX-10R||9 Laps|
|RET||34||D. GIUGLIANO||Ducati Panigale R||13 Laps|
|RET||35||R. DE ROSA||BMW S1000 RR||13 Laps|
|RET||7||C. DAVIES||Ducati Panigale R||21 Laps|