Reigning WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea extended his championship lead to 49 points at Laguna Seca this afternoon, taking the race win ahead of Chaz Davies as Alvaro Bautista crashed again.
Rea bagged the holeshot with Bautista behind but the little Spaniard was shoved aside by Davies on lap one but, as he was looking for a way back past on lap five after setting a new lap record, lost the front at turn five as he tried to trail brake a little too much.
It left Rea to fight Davies for the win and the Welshman put up a decent scrap but had opted for the SCX rear tyre - designed by Pirelli for the sprint race only - and began to drop off the pace with 11 laps gone.
Kawasaki’s Rea crossed the line with a five-second advantage over the Aruba Ducat rider with Toprak Razgatlioglu claiming another podium finish as he dispensed with Tom Sykes at half race distance as the BMW man had made the same rear tyre choice as Davies.
Alex Lowes (Yamaha) came from behind to claim fifth place, easing away from long-time top five man Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki), who was a still-impressive sixth, surviving a big moment on the exit of turn six which allowed Lowes past.
Michael van der Mark (Yamaha WorldSBK) was seventh and Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) eighth after their crashes in Superpole.
Italian riders Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha) and Michael Rinaldi (Barni Racing Team Ducati) were ninth and tenth respectively.
Eugene Laverty (Team GoEleven Ducati) was 11th but local one-off rider JD Beach (Attack Performance Estenson Yamaha) was forced to retire.
Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team) was the first faller in the race, and no scored after going down at the Corkscrew on lap four.
Top ten top speeds
1 19 A. BAUTISTA Ducati Panigale V4 R 264,0
2 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale V4 R 260,1
3 21 M. RINALDI Ducati Panigale V4 R 258,9
4 66 T. SYKES BMW S1000 RR 256,4
5 50 E. LAVERTY Ducati Panigale V4 R 255,8
6 54 T. RAZGATLIOGLU Kawasaki ZX-10RR 255,2
7 36 L. MERCADO Kawasaki ZX-10RR 253,4
8 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10RR 253,4
9 91 L. HASLAM Kawasaki ZX-10RR 253,4
10 33 M. MELANDRI Yamaha YZF R1 253,4