GEICO US Round
Motul FIM Superbike World Championship
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
Monterey, California, USA
June 23, 2018
Race One Results (all on Pirelli tires):
1. Jonathan Rea, UK (Kaw ZX-10RR), 25 laps, Total Race Time 35:15.071, Best Lap Time 1:23.248
2. Chaz Davies, UK (Duc Panigale R), -2.978 seconds, 1:23.041
3. Alex Lowes, UK (Yam YZF-R1), -12.212, 1:23.561
4. Eugene Laverty, Ireland (Apr RSV4 RF), -14.309, 1:24.017
5. Marco Melandri, Italy (Duc Panigale R), -16.712, 1:24.126
6. Xavi Fores, Spain (Duc Panigale R), -18.929, 1:24.097
7. Tom Sykes, UK (Kaw ZX-10RR), -25.638, 1:23.731
8. Michael Van Der Mark, Netherlands (Yam YZF-R1), -26.211, 1:24.443
9. Jordi Torres, Spain (MV Agusta F4 RC), -31.579, 1:24.795
10. Jake Gagne, USA (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), -38.084, 1:24.671
11. Yonny Hernandez, Colombia (Kaw ZX-10RR), -44.971, 1:24.987
12. Roman Ramos, Spain (Kaw ZX-10RR), -45.412, 1:25.273
13. Karel Hanika, Czech Republic (Yam YZF-R1), -50.768, 1:25.512
14. Lorenzo Savadori, Italy (Apr RSV4 RF), -66.063, crashed twice, 1:24.916
15. Loris Baz, France (BMW S1000RR), -1 lap, crash, 1:25.808
16. Toprak Razgatlioglu, Turkey (Kaw ZX-10RR), -6 laps, DNF, crash, 1:24.857
17. Josh Herrin, USA (Yam YZF-R1), -7 laps, DNF, retired, 1:24.841
18. Leon Camier, UK (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), -8 laps, DNF, retired, 1:24.776
19. PJ Jacobsen, USA (Honda CBR1000RR SP2), -15 laps DNF, crash, 1:25.609
20. Leandro Mercado, Argentina (Kaw ZX-10RR), -15 laps, DNF, crash, 1:25.148
World Championship Point Standings (after 15 of 26 races):
1. Rea, 295 points
2. Davies, 225
3. Van Der Mark, 204
4. Sykes, 188
5. Lowes, 170
6. Melandri, 168
7. Fores, 144
8. Razgatlioglu, 91
9. Savadori, 75
10. Laverty/Baz, 73
12. Camier, 72
13. Torres, 71
14. Michael Rinaldi, 54
15. Ramos, 45
16. Mercado, 42
17. Gagne, 30
18. Hernandez, 23
19. Jacobsen, 21
20. Leon Haslam, 14
More, from a press release issued by Gulf Althea BMW Racing:
Unlucky day for Gulf Althea BMW at Laguna Seca
Monterey (USA), Saturday 23 June 2018
The first Superbike race of the weekend at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca proved complicated for Loris Baz and the Gulf Althea BMW Racing team; after two crashes throughout the day, the squad crossed the line in final fifteenth position.
Superpole 1: twelfth after yesterday’s practices, Loris took part in this morning’s SP1. Having completed one initial lap, the Frenchman came in to put in the fresh tyre. Giving it his all to complete a clean and fast lap, Baz recorded a best of 1’23.735. Thanks to this lap time, he closed the session in second place, thus gaining access to the second phase of the Superpole.
Superpole 2: Baz and his team opted to wait and only exit in the final stages with the qualifying tyre. Out on track with four minutes to go, a crash through the Corkscrew unfortunately put paid to what was looking to be Loris’ best lap time. The French rider therefore closed in twelfth place, meaning a fourth row start for race 1.
SBK – Race 1: fourteenth through the first corners, lap two brought a crash at turn 11 for Baz; he was able to re-join the race but in twentieth position. Determined to complete the race, the Gulf Althea BMW rider did what he could to make up places and time from the back of the field, eventually crossing the line in fifteenth position.
“We’ve been trying everything we can on the bike. We continued to work on the set-up up until this morning but, not finding anything better, we went back to that of yesterday. I did all I could in Superpole and got through to SP2 which I wasn’t expecting so I was pleased with that. Unfortunately, I crashed at the Corkscrew but at least I tried my best. In the race, I knew right from the start that the front didn’t feel right and I soon crashed. I got back on and was able to finish and score one point. Without the crash I could have done a little more but honestly, I’m doing all I can on the bike. We’ll try again tomorrow…”
More, from a press release issued by Barni Racing Team:
Positive sixth place for Forés in race 1 at Laguna Seca
Laguna Seca (USA), 23rd June 2018. Encouraging sixth place for the Barni Racing Team rider Xavi Forés in the opening race at Raceway Laguna Seca circuit, in California (USA). Eighth round of the MOTUL FIM WorldSBK put back the Spaniard into a good position, unleashing a fast and constant performance. Due to the result Forés was once again the best among the independent riders.
Starting from the eighth spot on the grid, Forés did not have a brilliant start and in the first few turns he had to fight with Camier and Van der Mark to remain in the first group. With a freer track the Valencian rider showed a good pace and at lap 7 he overtook Melandri taking the sixth position. Than Forés show a spectacular passing on Sykes at the famous Corkscrew corner (lap 16). After keeping a steady pace between 24’3 and 25’1 in the first two third of the race (personal faster lap in 1’24.097), Forés then suffered the comeback of a unleashed Melandri and five laps to go he lost the five position and he was not able to strike back. Crossing the finish line in sixth position, the Spaniard gains 10 points and climbs to 144 points in the Championship, 24 less than Melandri who precedes him in the overall standings , but 53 more than Ratzgatlioglu, his rival in the fight as best independent rider.
Despite the positive result, the goal of the Barni Racing Team is to back to the top 5 already in tomorrow’s race 2 (starting at 23 Italian time) that will see Forés starting from the front row
Marco Barnabò, Principal Manager
«Looking at Xavi fighting again with Sykes, Melandri, Van der Mark and others factory riders was the greatest joy of the race. We needed a performance like this to find the morals and certainties that we seemed to have lost. Because of this I want to thank the team that remained united and the rider who has put on the show its qualities».
Xavi Forés, #12
«I don’t want to hide my satisfaction because, after suffering a lot in the last two races at Donington and Brno we were back. I would like to fight until the end to get into the top 4, but I suffered drop off with the front tyre in the last few laps. However the most important thing was re-founding the feeling with my bike and being able to bring home a good points for the championship. Tomorrow I will try to take advantage of the start from the first row and to find a solution that allows me to be fast until the end».
More, from a press release issued by Pata Yamaha:
Lowes Continues Momentum by Charging to Race 1 Podium at Laguna
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team continued their stunning run of recent podiums in Race 1 at Laguna Seca on Saturday, Round 8 of the 2018 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship. Alex Lowes followed up his victory in Race 2 at the last round in Brno by charging from fifth on the grid to cross the line in a superb third place and secure his third podium of the season. His teammate Michael van der Mark struggled with grip levels during the race but battled hard from ninth on the grid to finish in a valiant eighth.
After collecting four podiums in the last four races, the Pata Yamaha team were confident heading into Saturday’s action at a sun-drenched WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, despite not enjoying the best results at the track in the past. Lowes had ended Friday’s practice in seventh overall after focusing on building a good race pace and built on this by ending FP4 in fifth. Heading straight into SP2, the 27-year-old British rider set a 1:22.729 and felt he could have gone even quicker were it not for a couple of small errors on his best lap.
When the lights went out for Race 1, Lowes enjoyed a good start and after some excellent overtakes he was already up to forth and setting his sights on the podium battle ahead of him by the end of the second lap. Lowes got his head down and showed great consistency in his lap times, managing to catch and pass Tom Sykes on lap nine and move up to third. Within two laps he had opened up a three-second gap to the riders behind him and managed this superbly all the way to the line to secure his third podium of the season. After the ninth WorldSBK podium of Lowes’ career, he moves up to fifth in the championship standings with 170 points, just 18 behind Sykes in fourth, and will line up for Race 2 seventh on the grid.
Van der Mark found it tough to find a good setup with his R1 on Friday at Laguna and had to go into SP1 after ending FP3 in 11th on the combined timesheets. Determined to use the extra track time to his advantage, after ending FP4 in tenth, the 25-year-old Dutch rider stormed through SP1 by topping the session with a 1:23.649. He then qualified in ninth for the race by improving to a 1:23.253 in SP2 after being denied a chance to improve on his final flying lap by yellow flags at the Corkscrew.
In the race, van der Mark got his usual lightning start and was up to seventh by the first corner. Battling hard in the pack, he dropped back to eighth as he suffered from a lack of grip with his R1 in the opening laps. As the race progressed, he stayed focused and started to close the gap to the riders in front. By lap 19, he was on a charge and hunting down Sykes who was in seventh, 2.5 seconds ahead. Pushing as hard as he could in the latter part of the race, he managed to close right up on the back wheel of Sykes but ran out of laps before he could get past, crossing the line in eighth place. This result sees van der Mark remain third in the championship standings with 204 points, just 21 behind Chaz Davies in second, and he will start Sunday’s Race 2 from the middle of the second row.
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team are back in action on Sunday at 10:30 am local time (GMT-7) for Warm Up, with the 25-lap Race 2 due to start at 2 pm.
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team – 3rd +12.212s
“I am really, really happy! The race itself wasn’t fantastic, the second part was quite boring as I needed to carefully manage my position, but I was really strong at the start and that allowed me to get the podium. To get a podium at Laguna on the Yamaha is beyond what I expected so I think we can be happy with the job we have done as a team. We will try to improve the setting of the bike a bit for tomorrow and see if we can have another go, and I just want to say a big thanks to the guys at Yamaha, Crescent and everyone involved in the whole project because to get a podium here, at what was our worst track last year, is testament to everyone’s efforts.”
Michael van der Mark
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team – 8th +26.211s
“Today was tough. We struggled to find the right feeling on Friday and we thought we made a breakthrough in SP1 but then during the race, I just didn’t have the grip on corner entry or exit to push any harder. Towards the end of the race, I thought I would catch Tom, as he was also struggling, but I just ran out of laps. It is obviously a disappointing result, especially considering how competitive we have been lately, but we will study the data we collected today in the race and come back fighting tomorrow.”
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Principal
“A well-deserved podium today for Alex and an excellent indicator of the progress that the R1 and the Yamaha WorldSBK project has made this year. It is the kind of circuit that hasn’t been easy for us to use the best assets of the R1 in the past, and whilst we didn’t have the pace to challenge the winner, a very well-managed race by Alex with some excellent aggressive passes in the early laps has delivered a fantastic result. Congratulations to him on the positive momentum and we will try and take some more steps with the bike and see what we can do from the third row tomorrow. Michael had a less easy race but he kept his concentration and kept pushing. Unfortunately, from the very early laps, he didn’t have what he needed to move forward. It was a tough race for all the riders and very difficult to keep consistent lap times and ride accurately, so on that basis, we will be looking to find a way to help Michael perform better in Race 2 and to keep challenging the top three in the championship.”
More, from a press release issued by Dorna WSBK Press Office:
#USWorldSBK – Day 2: Rea roars ahead to seventh win in 2018 at Laguna Seca
Trademark consistency pays off for defending champion in new battle with Davies
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) proved that his Friday form was no fluke by taking his seventh win of the campaign in Race 1 at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship witnessed a new battle between the defending champion and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), another chapter in the vast collection of showdowns between the pair. This time, it was the Northern Irishman’s time to shine in the blazing Californian heat – his third triumph at Laguna Seca.
With both men starting on opposite sides of the front row, Race 1 quickly became a two-man affair, after Rea passed Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) before Turn 1. A first attack inside that first lap from the defending champion at turn 11 was quickly shrugged off by Davies on the exit, but the warning shot had been fired. Behind, Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) began to pile the pressure on Sykes in third, with Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) crashing out after an excellent start from the lights.
Seven laps passed with no further attacks on the Welshman – and as things turned out, no more were needed. Davies suffered a mistake through the corkscrew, and was then unable to keep up the pace in the closing ten laps.
It’s tough to match the three time champion at the best of times – with a free track ahead, the task is nigh-on impossible. Rea drowned out any possibility of a comeback, keeping a consistent 1-2 second gap all the way through the latter two thirds of the race. With Davies ending the race in second, the two are now separated by 70 points in the standings, with eleven races remaining on the calendar.
Behind the pair, Alex Lowes found his way quickly past Sykes into third, with the KRT rider falling slowly down the standings. The Lincolnshire rider has shown tremendous pace throughout the last three rounds, and following his maiden WorldSBK win with another podium – his first at Laguna Seca – spells excellent news for the Yamaha man going into tomorrow.
Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) repeated his best performance this season with an excellent fourth, making it four different machines in the top four positions, and highlighting how far the RSV4-RF has progressed in recent races. The Irishman will also have the bonus at starting from pole tomorrow, at a track where a front row can be a near guarantee of success.
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) bounced back from a disappointing qualifying session with fifth in Race 1, an admirable climb from the fourth row. He passed fellow Panigale R rider Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) in the final laps. The Spaniard, top independent rider in California, will nonetheless be pleased with his progressive return to form.
Much less comfortable during the race than through the earlier Superpole session, Tom Sykes ended his race successfully defending seventh place from Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), who had to be content with eighth, in front of Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) in ninth.
Scoring his best result in WorldSBK, Jake Gagne (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) finished his home race in tenth place to the delight of all the American fans at Laguna Seca.
Race 2 is live from Laguna Seca tomorrow, with lights out at 14:00 local time (21:00 GMT)!
P1 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
“It was a really nice race, I got a really good start and Chaz was setting a really good rhythm and it was hard to overtake him. But this happened at the corkscrew, and that helped me a lot. From there I could eeek out my pace and I was just trying to keep everything under control, but this one is for my mechanics after they stayed up to re-build my bike.”
P2 – Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
“The mistake on the corkscrew didn’t cost me the win, it let Jonny by but I don’t think we had the pace at the end to challenge for the win, I was trying to adapt my style for the last ten laps, but nothing was really doing the trick for me. I’m really happy with the race, a solid 20 points and its nice to be there or there about after a trick few rounds – its nice to have something we can build on.”
P3 – Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
“To be honest its been a tough track for me and the Yamaha’s, to get a podium is fantastic. Jonny knows its hard to keep winning, its hard to keep putting the work in and keep improving, but its motivation for me to catch this guy and keep winning. I really enjoyed that, so thanks guys.”
More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:
Rea Wins Again With Sykes Seventh
Jonathan Rea (KRT) won the opening race of the WorldSBK Laguna Seca race weekend, by almost three seconds, to record his 61st career victory. Tom Sykes (KRT) was a front row starter but slid backwards from a podium position in the early laps to finish seventh.
After qualifying third fastest in Superpole on Saturday morning, Jonathan Rea spent the early laps right behind eventual race one second place rider Chaz Davies, before pouncing to lead on lap seven. Davies had run wide at the entrance to the famous Corkscrew chicane, Rea instantly took his opportunity on the inside line.
Rea built his lead from then on to ease out to an eventual clear advantage of 2.978 seconds after 25 intense laps, on a tricky track surface that rose to over 50°C under the hottest conditions of the weekend so far.
Rea extended his championship lead over Davies to 70 points with his latest win, with one more race to come at Laguna on Sunday the 24th of June.
Front tyre grip issues for Tom Sykes saw him go from third on lap one to seventh on lap 18, defending his final finishing position in the last few laps to score valuable championship points.
Kawasaki is now 40 points ahead in the Manufacturers’ Championship, with 15 of the scheduled 26 races now complete.
An unlucky finish to a promising race for Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) saw him suffer a fast highside crash in The Corkscrew chicane. He suffered a fracture on the outside of the base of his left big toe, and will not be able to compete in race two on Sunday.
The highest placed Kawasaki rider behind the KRT duo today was Yonny Hernandez (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki), in 11th place, with Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) in 12th position. Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was a faller and was unable to finish the race.
Race two at Laguna is scheduled for a 14.00 start, local time in California.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “In the early laps I felt good behind Chaz, although his pace was really fast. I knew as soon as he made that mistake I wanted to go through, set my rhythm, and tenth-by-tenth slowly build up a lead. It was not easy, much more difficult than I expected. The front grip was dropping quite a lot at the end so I just had to ride accordingly. We have not had that issue all weekend but the temperature change today, that extra ten degrees on the track, was massive. We learned some things from the race today to be a little bit stronger tomorrow.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “We had a decent start but even on the first laps I knew I was in trouble. I was having a lot of understeer from the front of the bike and I lost the front in many corners. Then about from lap four, that was it really. That was the end of the game. It was over the limit from then on and there was no way I could maintain the lap time any more. Definitely, we had an issue with the front tyre. Our lap time was so far from what we did in practice. We lost a lot of time. Our pace should have been enough for the podium today and I feel we could have had a good battle, considering where we were in all the practices and the build-up to the race.”
More, from a press release issued by Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team:
Gagne grabs first WorldSBK top ten in Race 1 at Laguna Seca
Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca, United States
Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team rookie Jake Gagne stormed to his best ever finish in the WorldSBK championship, the American rider taking full advantage of his home circuit knowledge to claim tenth place in Race 1 at Laguna Seca.
Lining up on the grid for Race 1 in P16, Gagne’s best ever race result was initiated by a strong surge in the opening stages of the race when he passed numerous riders on his Fireblade. Finding himself in tenth place by lap seven, Gagne came under pressure from other riders while nursing a slight issue on his bike, but managed to hold them off to secure a fine tenth place finish.
On the number 2 CBR1000RR, fortunes were less kind to Camier who started from P7 on the grid for Race 1. Camier started steadily but improved his pace as the race went on and while running in P9 and catching the rider ahead of him, his gearshift lever broke resulting in an early retirement for the British rider.
The tenth place for Gagne means his point tally grows to 30 championship points and he remains in 17th overall in the standings. Camier is twelfth overall with 72 championship points.
Race 2 will take place at 1400 local time (GMT -7) tomorrow with the next session of the weekend, the Sunday Warm Up session starting at 1030 local time.
Leon Camier 2
Today it was a difficult race, my pace in the early stages wasn’t what I was expecting but as the race progressed I managed to get quicker and had a better rhythm. As soon as I felt good on the bike and started to gain on the riders in front of me, I had a problem with my gearshift lever which meant I couldn’t continue. Me and my team will look to see where can can adjust the bike ahead of tomorrow’s race so that I can be stronger in the first part of the race, if we can make that happen I’m sure Race 2 will be better.
Jake Gagne 45
It was a pretty positive day, my first top ten in WorldSBK so I’m happy about that. My first couple of laps were good, it seems the warmer track temperature actually helped me compared to the other guys, so I could make quite a few good passes. Starting so far back on the grid meant I had a lot of work to do, but I could work my way up to tenth place and bring the bike home in that position after I had a little technical issue on the bike. We’ll try a couple of things in Warm Up tomorrow as I think we can improve things even further and I’m confident we can do another good job tomorrow.
It was great to see Jake score his first top ten result this season, especially in front of his home fans, but on the other side Leon had to retire due to a technical issue so it was a bittersweet day for the team. Jake was really strong at the start of the race, overtaking a lot of riders and keeping a good pace throughout the race so we hope to build on this for tomorrow. For Leon, there’s some changes we need to make to unlock more potential on his CBR1000RR at the start of the race, so we’ll work hard to deliver this for Race 2 and aim to have both our riders finish in the top ten.
More, from a press release issued by Aruba.it Ducati Racing:
The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team on the podium in Race 1 at Laguna Seca with Davies (2nd), strong comeback for Melandri (5th)
The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team stepped back on the podium at Laguna Seca (United States), home of the eighth round of the WorldSBK Championship, thanks to a brilliant second-place finish by Chaz Davies. The Welshman, who took pole position earlier on, maintained the lead at the start and posted the race’s fastest lap with a 1:23.041 (the new track record) to pull away. In tricky conditions – with circa 50 degrees on the tarmac and low grip – a wobble going into turn 8 moved him into second place, which he then kept until the checkered flag.
Marco Melandri, penalized by a Superpole finished in tenth position, showed great tenacity coming back to fifth place on a track where it’s particularly difficult to pass. The Italian finished strong, showing the best pace in the final laps, and tomorrow will start from second position on the grid.
The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team will be back on track Sunday, June 24th, at 10:30 local time (CET -9) for a warm-up session ahead of Race 2, which is scheduled to start at 14:00 (23:00 CET).
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – 2nd
“It was a good race. From where I sat, I did all I could. I gave up the lead while pushing, but honestly I don’t think the final result would have changed. I was trying to keep Rea honest but we just didn’t quite have the pace in the last ten laps. I was losing a tenth here and there, so I tried not to make mistakes and see what he had. He made a couple of errors at the Corkscrew, but not big enough for me to erase the gap. Overall I’m very happy, we got pole position and fastest lap but just missed the big trophy. We got good data and learned a bit today, so hopefully we’ll come back a little bit stronger tomorrow.”
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #33) – 5th
“Today we faced a difficult race despite the fact that the weekend had been going really well so far. In Superpole I didn’t find much grip and I couldn’t make a good lap. Starting from fourth row wasn’t easy, early on I couldn’t ride smoothly but after a while I started to feel better. Unfortunately, we were too far by then to challenge for the podium. I tried to catch Laverty but I made a mistake during the last lap and probably it wouldn’t have been possible to pass him anyway. Tomorrow is a new day, we’ll try improve during warm-up and we’ll see how we fare in Race 2. Starting from first row will help, but it’ll be more important to improve the pace.”
Marco Zambenedetti, Technical Coordinator on track for Ducati Corse
“After a positive Friday, we confirmed our competitiveness despite the fact that higher temperatures changed the track’s conditions. Chaz gave his all to claim a very important second place, and Marco also showed his tenacity but unfortunately he was penalized by the issues encountered during qualifying. We’ll analyze the data to further improve ahead of Race 2”.