Missing Toprak Razgatlioglu, after he was ruled out of the race with a broken toe after his crash at the corkscrew, the race had nineteen riders racing twenty five laps of the short left-handed circuit. The military-themed anthem was performed by a singer backed by a brass band, because America.
Eugene Laverty sat in pole position after the reverse grid was applied, ahead of Marco Melandri and Xavi Fores with Tom Sykes heading the second row alongside Michael van der Mark and Jordi Torres. Yesterday's podium determined the third row of Alex Lowes, Chaz Davies and race-winner Jonathan Rea.
Eugene Laverty got the lead into turn one from pole position, ahead of Xavi Fores and Marco Melandri, but Michael van der Mark charged through to take second place with Melandri taking third behind him. On the second lap, Jonathan Rea worked his way through from ninth on the grid to third place ahead of Melandri and Chaz Davies.
On lap three, Laverty was almost a second clear of van der Mark who had a second back to Rea, Melandri and Davies, with Melandri almost clipping Rea in his pursuit for a podium spot. A lap later, Melandri crashed at turn five, ending his race, while Rea set the fastest lap on his way to taking second place from van der Mark. On lap five, Rea, with an empty track ahead of him, set the fastest lap again and closed to within under a second of Laverty, and a lap later, he'd closed the gap, dropping van der Mark.
As Jonathan Rea closed in on Eugene Laverty, hounding him until turn three of lap eight where he found significantly more grip than Laverty and made an easy-looking pass stick. The battle for third was a three bike affair, with Michael van der Mark fending off Chaz Davies and Alex Lowes until lap ten when Davies took third place into the Andretti Hairpin at the start of the lap and Laverty finally fell off the back of Rea. Van der Mark and Lowes were then locked into their customary all-Yamaha battle and Jonathan Rea was now the only rider putting in 1'23 laps. Tom Sykes was in eighth place behind sixth placed Xavi Fores and Jordi Torres in seventh. All riders had over a second gap between them and had less pace than the five riders battling at the front.
As Jonathan Rea's gap at the front increased by a couple of tenths here and there, he remained the only rider in the 1'23s until he finally dropped to 1'24.001 on lap sixteen of twenty five, with a four second lead over Eugene Laverty who was finally joined by Chaz Davies, and on lap seventeen, Davies took second place off Laverty into the Andretti Hairpin, only to go a little wide on his lunge. Luckily for him, Laverty was unable to turn quickly enough to take advantage of this and Davies held second place.
With Jonathan Rea stretching out his lead every lap, Chaz Davies consolidating his lead over Eugene Laverty and the Yamahas locked in battle, nothing changed until three laps from the end when Alex Lowes started trying to probe his teammate for weaknesses. As they headed into the Corkscrew, Lowes took an old line favoured by Colin Edwards into the entry of the left-hander at the top that required him to deal with a very light bike after cresting a small hump, and finding a tight line into the left-hander. Van der Mark tried to fight back down the hill into the right turn, but Lowes kept the quicker line and held onto fourth place.
And that was it. As the laps ticked off, everyone tried to close the small gaps around them, but nobody could make another pass. Jonathan Rea won his second race of the weekend and his fourth race at Laguna Seca, a feat not managed by any other current rider. Chaz Davies took second place five second behind Rea and Eugene Laverty grabbed his first podium, as promised, less than two seconds later. Alex Lowes held off Michael van der Mark in the battle of the blue bikes and five seconds later, Xavi Fores was once again the first independent bike over the line, ahead of Jordi Torres who was caught but not passed by Tom Sykes.
Jonathan Rea's victory puts him another five points clear of Chaz Davies in the championship chase, giving him a lead of seventy five points, while Eugene Laverty's first podium since 2014 gave him his fourth race in a row with double-digit points and only two points behind Toprak Razgatlioglu's eighth place. Tom Sykes remains in fourth place but lost points to both third-placed Michael van der Mark and fifth-placed Alex Lowes.
|1||1||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR|
|2||7||C. DAVIES||Ducati Panigale R||5.099|
|3||50||E. LAVERTY||Aprilia RSV4 RF||6.711|
|4||22||A. LOWES||Yamaha YZF R1||8.011|
|5||60||M. VAN DER MARK||Yamaha YZF R1||9.746|
|6||12||X. FORES||Ducati Panigale R||14.791|
|7||81||J. TORRES||MV Agusta 1000 F4||16.711|
|8||66||T. SYKES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||17.284|
|9||45||J. GAGNE||Honda CBR1000RR||35.421|
|10||76||L. BAZ||BMW S 1000 RR||39.802|
|11||36||L. MERCADO||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||42.946|
|12||40||R. RAMOS||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||43.437|
|13||2||L. CAMIER||Honda CBR1000RR||44.563|
|14||98||K. HANIKA||Yamaha YZF R1||47.257|
|15||68||Y. HERNANDEZ||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||53.415|
|16||57||J. HERRIN||Yamaha YZF R1||58.107|
|RET||99||P. JACOBSEN||Honda CBR1000RR||16|
|RET||32||L. SAVADORI||Aprilia RSV4 RF||19 Laps|
|RET||33||M. MELANDRI||Ducati Panigale R||22 Laps|