After Angela Roach belted out the Star Spangled Banner, with an appropriate amount of added notes for a sporting event, the riders lined up under a California sun. A few of the frontrunners chose to use the SCX tyre designed for the ten lap Superpole race.
Jonathan Rea led into the first turn, ahead of Alvaro Bautista and Chaz Davies, Davies not getting the best of starts. Tom Sykes tried to make a pass outside turns one and two, but Bautista and Davies kept their tight line. Davies and Sykes in third and fourth both fitted the Superpole tyre, giving them a theoretical advantage at the beginning of the race. Toprak Razgatlioglu passed Sykes for fourth place.
At turn ten of lap one, Chaz Davies made use of his slightly better grip and knowledge of the track to take second place from his teammate and on lap two broke the lap record. A lap later, Alvaro Bautista took the lap record from Davies and tried to find a way past. The leading three of Rea, Davies and Bautista started to break away from fourth placed Toprak Razgatlioglu while Tom Sykes dealt with Jordi Torres. Leon Haslam went out at the Corkscrew but only yellow flags came out, letting the race continue.
On lap five, the race changed.
Heading into turn one, Chaz Davies took the lead from Jonathan Rea, only to have Rea take it right back on the exit of turn two. Turn one at Laguna Seca is a very fast kink in the start/finish straight while turn two is the Andretti Hairpin, a double-apex wide hairpin with the second apex tighter than the first, making over 180 degrees of hairpin. Davies led into the first half of the corner bit missed the second apex to allow Rea to find a gap to retake the lead.
At turn five of lap five, Alvaro Bautista finally lost the battle with Chaz Davies, putting too much weight on his front tyre and once again crashing out in the early stages of a race when the tank was eighty percent full. Bautista tried to match Davies through the tight left handed corner and lost grip on the the front tyre, sliding his bike into the ample run-off. Jonathan Rea and Chaz Davies were almost two seconds clear of Toprak Razgatlioglu in third place and the race was then just between the old rivals.
As Rea and Davies put an academic gap between them and Razgatlioglu, Tom Sykes finally broke free of Jordi Torres and settled into a safe fourth place. Alvaro Bautista remounted in eighteenth place of eighteen and set about to try to rescue a point or two.
Twelve laps in, as expected, Chaz Davies lost the advantage of his Supercorsa SCX tyre and could no longer stay on Rea's pace, but the pair still managed to lap Alvaro Bautista a couple of laps later. JD Beach, the American wildcard, pitted in and ended his race at this point.
As the race went on, Jonathan Rea escaped from Chaz Davies who was six seconds clear of Toprak Razgatlioglu. Tom Sykes was four seconds clear of the fight for fifth place as Alex Lowes caught Jordi Torres with seven laps to go. On lap twenty one, as Lowes looked for a gap, Torres slid his rear tyre out of turn six and Lowes struck, taking fifth place ahead of Torres but over five seconds behind Sykes.
Jonathan Rea won the race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca ahead of Chaz Davies and Toprak Razgatlioglu. And extended his championship lead to forty nine points over Alvaro Bautista whose seventeenth place netted him no points. Chaz Davies put himself within two points of Tom Sykes, whose fourth place kept him in seventh place in the championship. Toprak Razgatlioglu, in his first finish at Laguna Seca, closed to within sixteen points of Leon Haslam whose DNF didn't help him at all.
Rea's win put Kawasaki one point ahead of Ducati in the manufacturer's championship.
With two more races, and a lot more Star Spangled Banners, the weekend may throw up more surprise results, but no matter what happens, Jonathan Rea will leave the United States of America as number one.
|1||1||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR|
|2||7||C. DAVIES||Ducati Panigale V4 R||5.693|
|3||54||T. RAZGATLIOGLU||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||12.721|
|4||66||T. SYKES||BMW S1000 RR||14.957|
|5||22||A. LOWES||Yamaha YZF R1||20.621|
|6||81||J. TORRES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||23.087|
|7||60||M. VAN DER MARK||Yamaha YZF R1||26.491|
|8||76||L. BAZ||Yamaha YZF R1||30.605|
|9||33||M. MELANDRI||Yamaha YZF R1||32.556|
|10||21||M. RINALDI||Ducati Panigale V4 R||44.432|
|11||50||E. LAVERTY||Ducati Panigale V4 R||46.792|
|12||36||L. MERCADO||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||47.091|
|13||52||A. DELBIANCO||Honda CBR1000RR||51.830|
|14||11||S. CORTESE||Yamaha YZF R1||53.661|
|15||28||M. REITERBERGER||BMW S1000 RR||1'00.235|
|16||23||R. KIYONARI||Honda CBR1000RR||1'10.076|
|17||19||A. BAUTISTA||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1 Lap|
|RET||95||J. BEACH||Yamaha YZF R1||12|
|RET||91||L. HASLAM||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||22 Laps|