Aruba Ducati’s Chaz Davies has taken victory in possibly the dullest Laguna Seca WorldSBK race in history but full credit to the Welshman for bouncing back from an horrendous Misano crash where he suffered a fractured vertebrae to hold off a hard-charging Jonathan Rea in second.
Davies passed poleman Tom Sykes for the lead at the top of the Corkscrew with 14 laps to go, messing the Kawasaki man up which gave Rea the chance to pounce as they went through Rainey. Sykes tried to go with him but couldn’t match the pace and, save for Rea having a look down the inside at Rainey with eight left, he had no answer for the Panigale.
Rea said in parc ferme he was struggling after his rear tyre dropped right off and didn’t have the acceleration to get close enough to Davies to stick in a serious move. Sykes was having problems with corner entry grip and said that was enough to stop him from challenging for the win.
Davies equals Carlos Checa’s win record with the victory while Rea increases his championship lead over Sykes by another four points. Marco Melandri had a very lonely race to fourth place, finishing some 14s behind his team-mate.
Xavi Fores held off a spirited challenge from Leon Camier, whose MV Agusta has never been much use around Laguna, but the big Briton just didn’t have enough to pinch fifth place. Jordi Torres bagged seventh place with Michael Van Der Mark coming through from 13th to end in eighth.
Neither of the Pata Yamaha men have been able to find any feel with the front this weekend, and it showed with Alex Lowes crashing at turn five for the second time this weekend. Tati Mercado finished in ninth with Lorenzo Savadori taking his Milwaukee Aprilia to tenth.
Team-mate Eugene Laverty was sitting in a solid fifth place but went down at turn three, his second crash at the dead-flat right-hander. Stefan Bradl claimed 11th place with Roman Ramos, Raffaele De Rosa and Alex De Angelis next along. Wildcard Jake Gagne picked up a point in his debut WorldSBK race.