World Superbike Race Lap Record: Jonathan Rea, 1:22.700, 2019
World Superbike All-Time/Pole Lap Record: Tom Sykes, 1:21.811, 2014
Motul FIM Superbike World Championship
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
Monterey, California, USA
July 14, 2019
Race Two Results (all on Pirelli tires):
1. Chaz Davies, UK (Duc Panigale V4 R), 25 laps, Total Race Time 35:05.513, 1:22.976
2. Jonathan Rea, UK (Kaw ZX-10RR), -3.333 seconds, 1:23.003
3. Toprak Razgatlioglu, Turkey (Kaw ZX-10RR), -11.658, 1:23.344
4. Alex Lowes, UK (Yam YZF-R1), -16.259, 1:23.711
5. Tom Sykes, UK (BMW S1000RR), -16.823, 1:23.829
6. Leon Haslam, UK (Kaw ZX-10RR), -19.449, 1:23.805
7. Loris Baz, France (Yam YZF-R1), -23.637, 1:23.968
8. Jordi Torres, Spain (Kaw ZX-10RR), -24.572, 1:24.017
9. Marco Melandri, Italy (Yam YZF-R1), -25.919, 1:24.214
10. Michael Rinaldi, Italy (Duc Panigale V4 R), -30.742, 1:24.492
11. Leandro Mercado, Argentina (Kaw ZX-10RR), -32.177, 1:24.386
12. Eugene Laverty, Ireland (Duc Panigale V4 R), -38.508, 1:24.579
13. Markus Reiterberger, Germany (BMW S1000RR), -41.862, 1:24.514
14. Sandro Cortese, Germany (Yam YZF-R1), -41.989, 1:24.390
15. Ryuichi Kiyonari, Japan (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), -55.483, 1:25.531
16. JD Beach, USA (Yam YZF-R1), -60.385, 1:25.145
17. Alessandro Delbianco, Italy (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), -72.973, 1:25.383
18. Michael Van Der Mark, Netherlands (Yam YZF-R1), -22 laps, DNF, retired, 13.633, 1:24.004
19. Alvaro Bautista, Spain (Duc Panigale V4 R), -24 laps, DNF, no lap time recorded
More, from a press release issued by Dorna WorldSBK Press Office:
More, from a press release issued by Barni Racing:
Double top 10 for Rinaldi and Barni Racing Team at Laguna Seca
Laguna Seca (USA), 14th July 2019. With a race of pure consistency, Michael Rinaldi rode his Ducati Panigale V4R once again to a top-ten finish in race two at Laguna Seca, where ninth round of MOTUL FIM WorldSBK come to an end. After the tenth place in race 1 on Saturday and a not completely satisfying 13th place in Superpole Race the Barni Racing Team rider conquered another good result in the ultimate race before a long period of holidays. Now the Championship standing see Rinaldi in eleventh place with 97 points, three less than Cortese and one more on Torres.
It was a thrilling Sprint race which was red flagged at lap 1 due to a crash at the famous turn of Corkscrew. In the race restarted with only eight lap Rinaldi didn’t managed to recover lot of positions from his fourteenth place of the starting grid and he crossed the finish lane thirteenth, without scoring points in the Championship.
The Barni Racing Team rider got of well from the fourteenth spot of the grid but at the braking point of turn 1 in order to avoid a crash with another rider He was forced to go wide losing positions. Despite of this Michael put his head down and He made another good race: showing a strong pace on long distance He raced fourteenth second faster than yesterday with a personal best lap in 1’24.492, eight tenth of a second better than his personal best lap in race 1. The italian #21 gained position when Bautista and Van der Mark went out of the race, but he was able to overtake Laverty and Cortese. Determined to conquer another top 10 Rinaldi managed to catch up and overtake Mercado three laps to go.
Marco Barnabo, Team Principal
We are satisfied because, even the position was the same of race one, our pace was stronger and Rinaldi managed to cover the race distance more than ten second faster. This means that our improvement from yesterday was clear. The start was a shame because after a contact he lose positions and than he lose ground trying to overtake Laverty and Cortese. Otherwise I think He could fight with Melandri for ninth position.
Superpole Race: P13 – Race 2: P10
It was an unknown track for me and because of that I could not have high expectations. For this reason I am globally satisfied with the weekend. We grew in each session and this is what I say about the good quality of our work. When you arrive for the first time in a new track it’s very easy to lose the right direction and make mistakes, instead of this we made a good job.
More, from a press release issued by Pirelli:
WorldSBK U.S. Round: Rea Wins the Superpole Race, but Yields to Davies in Race 2, While Bautista has a Weekend to Forget and Pirelli Achieves Satisfaction with the New SCX Solution
Sixth Race Win in a Row for Rea who Pulls Ahead in the Championship by 81 Points over Bautista
SALINAS, California (July 14, 2019) – The Californian weekend of the MOTUL FIM World Superbike Championship, hosted by the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, ended with two wins for Jonathan Rea and Kawasaki and one for Chaz Davies on Ducati.
After winning Race 1 on Saturday, the four-time World Champion of Rea also won the Tissot Superpole® Race on Sunday morning, but was unable to defeat Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4 R) in Race 2. On the other hand, for the other rider representing the manufacturer from Borgo Panigale, Álvaro Bautista, it was a weekend to forget with a crash in Race 1 and a DNF in Race 2 when he was forced to retire on the third lap. The Spaniard, who was the favorite for the world title in the early part of the year, is now 81 points behind Rea and will be forced to make a difficult comeback after the summer break, in the hopes that his rival is unable to finish consistently on the podium, as he has so far.
Worth a mention is the excellent performance by the talented young Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing / Kawasaki ZX-10RR) who, with his two third place finishes in Race 1 and Race 2 and his fourth place in the Tissot Superpole® Race, confirms his status as the best of the private team riders.
Pirelli can consider itself to be very satisfied with the race results at Laguna Seca, particularly in terms of the new SCX solution. This option, which Pirelli introduced in the Championship just this year as a pre-qualifying option to be used in Superpole®and in the 10-lap sprint race, was not only used by practically all the riders at Laguna Seca in the Tissot Superpole®Race, but it showed that it can also last the 25 laps of the standard-distance races, proving to be very competitive.
The Tissot Superpole® Race, starting at 11:00 a.m. local time with Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK / Kawasaki ZX-10RR) in pole position, lost one of its key players as early as the first lap when Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4 R) tumbled disastrously to the ground just a few meters after the start due to contact with the rear tire of Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing / Kawasaki ZX-10RR) who was overtaking him. Then, on the following lap, an accident at the top of the Corkscrew involving Alessandro Delbianco (Althea Mie Racing Team / Honda CBR1000RR) and wild card JD Beach (Attack Performance Estenson Yamaha / Yamaha YZF R1) forced race direction to red flag the race, bringing the action to a halt.
The three riders involved in the accidents wound up in the medical center and were unable to be on the grid for the restart, which anticipated an eight-lap race.
As in Race 1, in this sprint race, Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK / Kawasaki ZX-10RR) once again started well and managed to maintain the race lead from start to finish, winning with a 2.5 second gap ahead of Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4 R) and 3.6 seconds ahead of Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team / BMW S1000 RR) who, unlike in Race 1, succeeded in snatching the bottom step of the podium from Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing / Kawasaki ZX-10RR) who finished fourth ahead of the other factory Kawasaki ridden by Leon Haslam.
WorldSBK Tissot Superpole® Race standings:
1) J. Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK / Kawasaki ZX-10RR)
2) C. Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4 R)
3) T. Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team / BMW S1000 RR)
4) T. Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing / Kawasaki ZX-10RR)
5) L. Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK / Kawasaki ZX-10RR)
6) A. Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team / Yamaha YZF R1)
7) L. Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha / Yamaha YZF R1)
8) J. Torres (Team Pedercini Racing / Kawasaki ZX-10RR)
9) L. Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura / Kawasaki ZX-10RR)
10) M. Van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team / Yamaha YZF R1)
11) S. Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK / Yamaha YZF R1)
12) M. Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team / BMW S1000 RR)
13) M. Rinaldi (Barni Racing Team / Ducati Panigale V4 R)
14) E. Laverty (Team Goeleven / Ducati Panigale V4 R)
15) R. Kiyonari (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team / Honda CBR1000RR)
16) M. Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK / Yamaha YZF R1)
NS) A. Delbianco (Althea Mie Racing Team / Honda CBR1000RR)
NS) J. Beach (Attack Performance Estenson Yamaha / Yamaha YZF R1)
NS) Á. Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4 R)
In Race 2, the order of the riders on the podium changed, but the faces were the same as those in Race 1. Winning this second race was Welshman Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4 R) who, unlike in Race 1, chose the same tire used by Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK / Kawasaki ZX-10RR), managing to overtake him on the inside at the first turn after the start and then maintaining the race lead all the way to the checkered flag. With the exception of this pass, throughout the rest of the race, the riders in the front maintained the positions taken at the start, with the reigning World Champion, after winning Race 1 and the Tissot Superpole® Race, finished on the second step of the podium more than three seconds behind Davies. Finishing third was Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing / Kawasaki ZX-10RR) who repeated his performance from Race 1, once again the best independent team rider. Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team / Yamaha YZF R1), Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team / BMW S1000 RR) and Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK / Kawasaki ZX-10RR) completed the top-six race finishers.
After crashing in the Tissot Superpole Race, Bautista attempted to partake in Race 2 anyway, but made a bitter return to pit lane, retiring on the third lap. The same fate awaited Michael Van Der Mark on the sixth lap.
WorldSBK Race 2 standings:
1) C. Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4 R)
2) J. Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK / Kawasaki ZX-10RR)
3) T. Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing / Kawasaki ZX-10RR)
4) A. Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team / Yamaha YZF R1)
5) T. Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team / BMW S1000 RR)
6) L. Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK / Kawasaki ZX-10RR)
7) L. Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha / Yamaha YZF R1)
8) J. Torres (Team Pedercini Racing / Kawasaki ZX-10RR)
9) M. Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK / Yamaha YZF R1)
10) M. Rinaldi (Barni Racing Team / Ducati Panigale V4 R)
11) L. Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura / Kawasaki ZX-10RR)
12) E. Laverty (Team Goeleven / Ducati Panigale V4 R)
13) M. Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team / BMW S1000 RR)
14) S. Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK / Yamaha YZF R1)
15) R. Kiyonari (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team / Honda CBR1000RR)
16) J. Beach (Attack Performance Estenson Yamaha / Yamaha YZF R1)
17) A. Delbianco (Althea Mie Racing Team / Honda CBR1000RR)
RT) Á. Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4 R)
RT) M. Van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team / Yamaha YZF R1)
The Pirelli solutions chosen by the riders for WorldSBK Tissot Superpole®Race and Race 2:
In the Tissot Superpole® Race, rider choices were rather unanimous. At the start, practically all the riders had chosen the combination of the standard SC1 125/70 tire (option A) on the front and the SCX (option X) on the rear. The exceptions were Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK / Kawasaki ZX-10RR) and Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing / Kawasaki ZX-10RR), who used the Y0446 SC0 development solution (option A) on the rear, and Ryuichi Kiyonari (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team / Honda CBR1000RR) who, instead of the SC1 on the front, went with the X1071 SC2 development tire (option B). At the restart, Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing / Kawasaki ZX-10RR) also opted for the SCX rear, leaving Rea as the only rider on the grid mounting the Y0446 SC0 development tire. Also worth a mention is the change made by Delbianco, opting for the X1071 SC2 development tire at the restart, as Kiyonari had.
On the other hand, the choices for Race 2 were different, with the riders making various changes compared to Race 1. On the rear, Davies and Eugene Laverty went from the SCX (option X) to the Y0446 SC0 development tire (option A) and the standard SC0 (option B) respectively, unlike Leandro Mercado, Markus Reiterberger, Beach and Kiyonari, who switched to the SCX (option X). In the end, the grid was split equally for the rear among the three available solutions, whereas on the front, the standard SC1 125/70 (option A) remained the tire chosen by all the riders except for Kiyonari.
Pirelli statistics for WorldSBK Tissot Superpole® Race:
• Winner of the PIRELLI BEST LAP AWARD: Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), 1’22.700 on the 2nd lap
• Most used front solution: standard SC1 125/70 (17 out of 19 riders)
• Most used rear solution: SCX (18 out of 19 riders)
• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Superbike tires: 260.8 km/h, achieved by Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Barni Racing Team / Ducati Panigale V4 R) on the 6th lap
• Air temperature: 18° C
• Asphalt temperature: 36° C
Pirelli statistics for WorldSBK Race 2:
• Winner of the PIRELLI BEST LAP AWARD: Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4 R), 1’22.976 on the 3rd lap
• Most used front solution: standard SC1 125/70 (18 out of 19 riders)
• Most used rear solution: development SC0 Y0446 200/65 (7 out of 19 riders)
• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Superbike tires: 261.4 km/h, achieved by Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Barni Racing Team / Ducati Panigale V4 R) on the 7th lap
• Air temperature: 15° C
• Asphalt temperature: 46° C
More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:
Rea Extends Championship Lead With Win And Second
Jonathan Rea (KRT) enters the long summer break in WorldSBK action with an 81-point championship lead having scored another race win and a final runner-up spot on Sunday at Laguna Seca. Leon Haslam (KRT) recovered well from his big fall on Saturday to record a fifth and sixth place finish today. Top independent rider Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) took another podium finish, in Race Two.
With two races to compete in each Sunday in the 2019 season, Rea and Haslam had two opportunities to score at the intense 3.660km circuit in California, and both rose to the occasion.
The Tissot-Superpole race was cut from ten to eight laps after a red flag was thrown to halt the action after two backmarkers had crashed. For the second time this weekend former championship leader Alvaro Bautista fell in a race, and he could not make the restarted Superpole race.
Rea, setting a new lap record of 1’22.700 in the process, won the Tissot-Superpole race to take his total of 2019 race victories to nine after winning the opening Laguna Seca race on Saturday.
There was to be no tenth race win to round out this weekend but in finishing a strong second behind Chaz Davies in Race Two Rea extended his championship points lead to a remarkable 81, on a weekend when his main rival Bautista no scored completely after retiring from Race Two.
Rea lifted his career race-winning total to a new and unparalleled height of 80 (part of 156 total podiums) thanks to his pair of winner’s trophies from this round.
Haslam overcame an injury to his left hand after his Saturday crash to secure two strong finishes – despite a lack of strength and stamina in his hand and an eventually overworked left arm and shoulder. Fifth and sixth places maintained Haslam’s top five position overall.
In the championship points Rea has 433, Bautista 352, Alex Lowes 220, Michael van der Mark 215, Haslam 202 and Razgatlioglu 191.
After the very long summer break – in WorldSBK action at least – the tenth round of the championship will be held at Portimao between 6 and 8 September. Before that Rea, Haslam and Razgatlioglu will compete at the Suzuka 8 Hours race and then there will be an official WorldSBK test for all at Portimao in late August.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I would never have believed you if you told me I would come here and set a new lap record, win two races and take the overall, so it has been a great weekend. We made a very small change to the bike between the Superpole race and Race Two. My feeling was completely different, which we did not expect. There was a lot of front movement, whereas all weekend before that we had been strong with the front. I had a few small warnings, just enough for me to roll it back a bit, think about finishing and we got it done. I am just super-satisfied with this weekend and I did the best I could in race two. I am looking forward to the summer break now.”
Leon Haslam, stated: “I felt we had good pace today and we were there for that podium pace. I could catch Tom Sykes and Alex quite comfortably but in the end I just struggled with myself, not the bike. Especially braking into left hand corners – and there are a fair few of them here. I was disappointed with the crash yesterday and I have suffered all day today with my wrist and the pain transferred into my shoulder because I was not riding as freely. I can’t be too unhappy as it was my mistake when we crashed in Race One, but we have had a fifth and sixth today and were not far off the podium pace.”
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) had another strong weekend in WorldSBK, scoring fourth in the Tissot Superpole race and then going third in Race Two, adding to his Race One podium ride on Saturday.
Toprak Razgatlioglu, stated: “I was fourth in the Tissot-Superpole race and then in the long race I had a good feeling with the bike. I tried again to follow the leading riders but it was not possible. In the last ten laps the rear traction dropped but I am really happy to have scored a second podium at Laguna Seca. Now the Suzuka 8 Hours and then a holiday!”
Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) had his best weekend of the entire season in the USA, ending it with an eighth place in each Sunday race. He is 12th overall, but only three points from a top ten ranking.
Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) ended the first part of the season 15th in the overall standings after a ninth and then an 11th place finish on Sunday.
More, from a press release issued by Team Go Eleven:
THE PASSION FOR RACING HELPS THROUGH PAIN
There are no words to describe the American weekend of Eugene and the Go Eleven Team: having arrived here with the minimum of expectations, already being able to run in free practice seemed like a miracle.
Instead, the Irish rider showed courage and passion to sell, enduring the pain throughout the weekend and not even skipping a session to save himself.
He surprised everyone, including the experts, but he showed how much love for racing can affect a small guy from Toomebridge.
Nothing more to add, chapeau to his perseverance!
The Californian Sunday opens with a conservative and somewhat problematic Warm Up for Eugene. The new solutions tried after yesterday, in order to help him in riding, did not give the desired results.
Everything is rearranged like in Race 1, then, and ready for the Superpole Race!
Warm Up: P 16 1’24.909 + 2.058
The Superpole Race starts, but on the first lap the red flag is displayed, following the crashes of Bautista, Delbianco and Beach. No physical consequences for the riders involved, but everything to be redone over the 8 laps distance. Eugene tries to be conservative from the perspective of Race 2, avoiding the risks of a race that assigns half points and benefits only the first nine.
Eugene takes his V4-R to fourteenth position, maintaining a steady pace.
P 1 J. Rea 11’09.272
P 2 C. Davies +2.533
P 3 T. Sykes +3.641
P 14 E. Laverty +18.917
Race 2 starts with great uncertainty: completing the second race of the day (25 laps), after having suffered only a few hours before finishing 8 laps, would have been a more than historical challenge.
But Eugene, stoic and determined, concentrated, set a pace in line with his direct rivals and even came back in the final!
And you think that at the end of the race he was a bit disappointed because his injured right wrist allowed him to overtake in a single point, losing so much time behind slower riders!
Eugene Laverty (Rider):
“We finished the weekend in a good way! To overtake two riders in the last part of the race was a nice surprise because I expected to go backwards at that point.
So, eleven positions yesterday and twelve today, but in reality today was the best race. It’s nice to ride my bike again even if I am not in perfect conditions.
I am happy to start the summer break, recover 100% and come back fighting for the podium in Portimao.”
Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):
Only 4 days ago nobody could have thought that EuGenio would have managed to race here in Laguna Seca, they gave it for crazy! And instead he silenced everyone with a really impressive test of character and tenacity. In the physical condition in which he raced was unbelievable that he could do two such races and with these results.
The team did a great job trying to change the position on the seat in order to make him possible to ride; the still semi-clasped right wrist requires a particular style of riding, therefore a different seat and handlebars, which, even if on one side contributed to make all this possible, on the other it was an inevitable limit for the bike set up.
We are still satisfied, we received all the signals of which, both us and Laverty, we needed to think we could make a season finale as protagonists. The summer break will be useful to return to 100%!”
With this incredible performance, Eugene gave the whole team a boost.
Now the WorldSBK goes on holiday for almost two months, but after the summer break the Go Eleven Team, with his ensign Eugene Laverty, will be ready to hunt down the top riders!
More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team:
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team concludes the Geico US Round at Laguna Seca with a run of impressive results
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team prepared for the final two races of the weekend today under the hot and sunny conditions at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Tom Sykes lined up in P4 for the 10 lap sprint race with team mate Markus Reiterberger respectively on the fourth row in P11.
Sykes got off to a good start slotting into P3 just behind #1 of Jonathan Rea as Alvaro Bautista yet again crashed out at T2. Despite the good start the race would be prematurely ended following a crash at the top of the corkscrew including Alessandro Delbianco and US wildcard JD Beach. The race would be restarted however with the laps now reduced from 10 to 8. Again Sykes got off to a good start with Rea and Davies leading the away. Sykes managed to maintain P3 for the duration claiming his third podium of the season in P3. Reiterberger similarly got a decent start to the race as he found himself in a battle for the top 10, however slightly missed out on the top ten positions as he brought his BMW S 1000 RR home in P12.
Race 2 vastly approached us and the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team were again back on the grid ready for the final race of the weekend. Sykes took his improved position on the grid in P3 with Markus Reiterberger in P12. As the race got underway it would again be Chaz Davies and Jonathan Rea who would check out from the rest of the field. Toprak Razgatlioglu, Sykes and Lowes rode for the final rostrum position from the early stages however despite Toms effort Toprak seemed to have that extra bit of pace and gapped Sykes now with Alex Lowes closing in on him or P4. On lap 14 Tom made a mistake which allowed Lowes by him which upset the rhythm of the Yorkshireman. Tom found some late pace and took almost 1.5 second out of Lowes in the closing laps but the laps ran out and Tom finished his race in P5.
Markus equally got off to a solid start and found himself in P14 come the end of lap 1. Reiterberger from then on out found himself in a three-way battle with the two Ducatis of Eugene Laverty, Michael Ruben Rinaldi and the Yamaha of Sandro Cortese. The German rider Reiterberger eventually bought his RR home in a credible P13 gaining some valuable points.
As the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team concludes the Geico US they will now enter the well-deserved 7-week summer break ahead of the next round at Portimao, Portugal (06-08 SEP)
Shaun Muir – Team Principal
“Tom claimed a great result in today’s sprint race. He rode really well; to take the third position and a front row start for race two was a solid performance all around. In the race, as we hoped, he had a pretty good start, only Toprak got in front of him, he slotted in and was in a solid fourth position. He rode a good race. Alex Lowes got by him after he made a mistake and then he recovered well. He dropped two seconds and pulled that right back. If there had been another lap he probably would have got fourth back. So it was great progress by Tom and they can go into the summer break happy.
Markus had a reasonably good day. The sprint race showed more progression but I was even more happy in the second race. He rode some pretty good lap times and overall it was a big improvement on his race one result. So overall we can be pleased going back home and we can make a plan exactly what we need to focus on in the next phase of the development of the bike.”
Marc Bongers – BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director
“That was a good day to round off a great weekend – a podium in the Superpole race and then another solid performance and fifth place for Tom in the second race. Markus was able to improve throughout the day and close the gap to the riders in front. We have some homework to do and we won’t see our competitors again before the tests at Portimão at the end of August. A large part of the team is now heading for some well-deserved vacation time. We can be very pleased with the season so far as we have clearly exceeded our expectations.”
Tom Sykes (GBR)
“We’ve come away again with a bag full of top-5 finishes, including a podium in the sprint race. Overall it was a very productive weekend for the whole BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. The bike seems to be not getting the best from the tyres at the moment but we got a lot of information this weekend, having said that it was a complete different story at the end of that Race 2, we had a lot of pace and I closed the gap to Alex Lowes so that’s certainly positive to take with us.
We now have the summer break coming up so it’s just cool that at the right time we got a lot of information at the weekend and hopefully now the guys in the team can put this to good use. There are still areas to work on but overall the whole package is quite promising and having three podiums at the last three rounds is not too bad against these experienced manufacturers. I’m enjoying riding, have a great relationship with the team and BMW and it’s needless to say that we are heading in the right direction. I think everybody has seen that the progress we’ve made from the opening round until now has been quite impressive.”
Markus Reiterberger (GER)
“The restart in the Superpole race was great. I made up a few places and crossed the line in a decent twelfth position. For the second race, we chose different tyres to yesterday. They were reliable for the first 15 laps but then there was a big drop with lots of movement and then it was just about getting to the finish. Unfortunately, that meant I lost two places. I did have my eye on the top ten but I missed out on that, however, we did score a few points. I had hoped for more from the weekend as I know that I can do much better. That’s why I’m hoping we can find a way for me to attack properly with the bike and go really fast. We have to continue working on it and then the breakthrough will come. I would like to thank the team as they gave it everything again this weekend.“
More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:
Fighting Fourth for Lowes in Laguna Seca Race 2
Alex Lowes backed up a sixth-place finish in the Superpole Sprint Race this morning with a hard-fought fourth place in Race 2 at Laguna Seca, to end the weekend as the top-scoring Yamaha rider and to move up to third place in the championship standings. His Pata Yamaha WorldSBK teammate, Michael van der Mark, was unfortunate to miss out on a top ten finish after an incredible start to Race 2 when a technical problem forced his retirement after just four laps.
Lowes got a good start in the 10-lap Superpole sprint race but was forced to do it all again when the race was stopped on the second lap, following a crash at the Corkscrew for Yamaha wildcard rider JD Beach and Honda’s Alessandro Delbianco. Lowes ended he restarted eight-lap sprint race in sixth position, to secure a second row start for Race 2.
Another good start in the feature race saw Lowes immediately embroiled in a battle with Tom Sykes and Leon Haslam for fourth place. The battle continued until just past half race distance when the Pata Yamaha rider made his move to pass Sykes and then pull away from his two pursuers to finish fourth. With 28 points from the three races this weekend, Lowes moved up the championship standings to third place, where he now has a five-point advantage over teammate van der Mark in fourth.
After a crash in qualifying left him 15th on the grid, van der Mark went into the Superpole race determined to finish inside the top nine and secure a starting position on the front three rows of the grid for Race 2. Unfortunately, the Pata Yamaha rider missed out by just one place, finishing the shortened race in tenth position.
A lightning start from the fifth row of the grid saw van der Mark cross the line at the end of the opening lap in tenth place and targeting the group ahead of him battling for fifth. The Pata Yamaha rider’s challenge came to a premature end, however, when a technical problem forced his retirement from the race on lap four.
Loris Baz enjoyed a solid weekend in America, with seventh place in today’s 25-lap feature race making it three top-ten finishes at Laguna Seca for the Ten Kate Yamaha Supported WorldSBK rider. The Frenchman moves up to 13th place in the championship standings with 76 points, despite having only contested three of the nine rounds this season.
It proved a more difficult weekend for the GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK riders, Sandro Cortese and Marco Melandri, but for different reasons. Cortese, making his debut at Laguna Seca this weekend, struggled with the effects of a shoulder injury sustained in his Donington Superpole crash and had to ride through the pain to pick up 2 points in 14th place today.
Melandri fared better, securing his second top ten finish of the weekend in ninth, despite struggling to make up for a starting position on the sixth row of the grid in the early stages of the race. At the halfway point the Italian was matching the lap times of the leading riders, but by that time the gap to the group ahead of him had stretched too far for him to regain contact and he was forced to settle for ninth place at the line.
Alex Lowes – P4 – Championship Position P3 – 220 Points
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK
“It was a fairly decent weekend, at a track at which we have always struggled a bit and were never really on the pace, but unfortunately it was the same for all the Yamahas. This afternoon I felt that I did the best that I could have – the leading trio were just too far ahead for me to make any inroads into their lead – so I’m fairly happy with fourth. The result means I’ve overtaken Michael in the championship standings and I’m now third, but it was a shame he had a problem with the bike today, as he’s done such a great job here and at Donington so soon after his Misano injury. But that’s racing sometimes and it’s certainly going to make for an interesting final four rounds with both of us determined to finish the season in the top three. I’m now looking forward to the Suzuka 8hr with the Yamaha Factory Racing Team, a little bit of time off and then back to WorldSBK at Portimão, a track that suits the R1 well and at which we will try to fight at the front again.”
Michael van der Mark – DNF – Championship Position P4 – 215 Points
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK
“We made some changes for the Superpole race that didn’t quite work as we were expecting, which meant I missed out on the top nine by just one place and had to start Race 2 from the fifth row of the grid. I had a really good start, made some early passes and was up to ninth at the end of the first lap. I felt so much better with the bike, a lot more confident and I could see the group ahead weren’t pulling away from me like they did yesterday. Once I managed to get past Loris Baz, I was feeling pretty comfortable and confident of gaining more places, but then we had a technical problem with the bike and I had to retire. It’s a big shame, because I was feeling better on my R1 than I had all weekend and we lost quite a lot of points. Anyway, we have a fairly long break now, of course including the 8hr race which is always a big challenge, and I’m sure we’ll be back really strong in Portimão – I love the track and I want to be fighting again to win.”
Loris Baz – P7 – Championship Position P13 – 76 Points
Ten Kate Yamaha Supported WorldSBK
“I was happy with my pace in Race 2 today. We took a bit of a gamble going with the X rear tyre because we didn’t know what to expect, but we had nothing to lose and here it’s really hard to overtake, so I knew that going hard from the start to build a gap could work. I had the best feeling with the bike of the whole weekend; here the Yamahas have struggled a little with the rear on corner entry, but today was better. It wasn’t easy to pass Jordi Torres, but once I was through, I just tried to be really consistent and not make any mistakes for the rest of the race. My pace at the end was a second and a half faster than yesterday, so I was happy to see such a big improvement. Three good races finished here and now we can look forward to testing at Portimão next month.”
Marco Melandri – P9 – Championship Position P9 – 138 Points
GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK
“The goal was top nine and a decent grid position in the Superpole race, but I made a mistake trying to pass Markus Reiterberger and lost a lot of places. So, I started Race 2 from the sixth row at a track where it’s really difficult to overtake and where I have struggled to get the best from the new tyres. I just didn’t have the pace in the opening laps, but after 14 or 15 laps I was going much better, but by that time the gaps were too big, and it was too late. I would like to feel more comfortable on the bike, but this is the situation we’re in at the moment and I can only continue to do my best.”
Sandro Cortese – P14 – Championship Position P10 – 100 Points
GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK
“It was a tough day and I was just happy to finish the race and pick up two points. This wasn’t our objective for the weekend, but it was all that was possible. Now I have to concentrate on my recovery during the summer break, to make sure I come back strong in Portimão ready for the last four races of the season. Thanks to the team for all their support this weekend and for doing such a great job. This was a tough race track to learn, especially with the injury, and a difficult weekend overall, but I’ve enjoyed my first visit to Laguna Seca and I’m looking forward to coming back to race here again.”
Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing Manager
“It’s been a tough weekend, but we can also take many positives away with us from Laguna Seca. On Friday we saw that our R1 wasn’t as immediately competitive here at Laguna Seca as it has been at every other track this season, but our five riders made steady improvements over the course of the weekend and all were a lot more competitive in Race 2 this afternoon. Alex should be happy with his performance; he was consistently the quickest of the Yamaha riders and three solid race results here have elevated him to third in the championship standings. Unfortunately, this came at the expense of Michael, who also looked like he was on for a good result after an incredible start today, before a technical problem forced him to retire. It’s a shame his weekend ended this way, especially after doing such a great job so soon after a serious injury, but I’m sure the additional recovery time between now and Portimão will allow him to come back stronger than ever. The effects of Sandro’s Donington Superpole crash were worse than anticipated and he did well to finish the three races on such a physically demanding track this weekend. It was also a struggle for his GRT Yamaha teammate Marco, but he and the team never gave up and worked hard to make him more comfortable on the bike. The results of their hard work could be clearly seen in the second half of the race today, with Marco able to match the pace of the leading group. Congratulations to Loris on three top-ten finishes this weekend. The speed at which he and the Ten Kate Yamaha team have got to grips with racing the Yamaha R1 is a testament both to their work ethic and the competitiveness of our package. Now we focus on making another step forward at next month’s Portimão test, to ensure we finish the season as strongly as we started it.”
More, from a press release issued by Aruba.it Racing Ducati:
Chaz Davies notches up his first win with the Panigale V4 R after a top-class performance in Race 2 at Laguna Seca, while it was a weekend to forget for Álvaro Bautista, who goes home after two crashes and a DNF
It was a magnificent day for Chaz Davies who stepped back onto the top of the victory podium today at the Laguna Seca Raceway in California for the first time in fifteen months, since Aragón 2018. After taking part in his 200th World Superbike race in the morning’s Superpole Race, the 32-year-old Welsh rider notched up his thirtieth win in the championship with a superb performance in Race 2, dominating from start to finish and crossing the line three seconds ahead of his main rival, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki).
It was on the other hand a weekend to forget for team-mate Álvaro Bautista. In the Superpole Race, reduced from 10 to 8 laps because of a red flag, the 34-year-old Spanish racer crashed at Turn 2 after a contact with Turkish rider Razgatlioglu. In the crash Bautista suffered stretched ligaments in his left shoulder, but after the OK from the circuit medical staff, he lined up on the grid for the start of Race 2. Unfortunately, because of the pain and a lack of strength in his left arm, he had to pull into the pits and retire after the opening lap.
Today’s win and the two second places achieved this weekend, allow Chaz to move up to seventh place in the championship with 184 points, while Bautista, who failed to score one point, remains in second place with 352 points. The next round of the Superbike World Championship will take place in two months’ time at the Autodromo dell’Algarve in Portugal, from 6th to 8th September.
To commemorate Carlin Dunne, the American rider tragically killed in the Pikes Peak race two weeks ago, Ducati will put up for auction the #005/500 Panigale V4 25° Anniversario bike presented on Friday at Pebble Beach, while Chaz has decided to contribute to the auction by adding the leathers with which he won today’s race, in their special commemorative livery.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – 2nd / 1st
“This win really means a lot to me, because it’s been a long hard season so far. The last time I won was almost a year and a half ago and it gets to a point where you wonder whether you can still win or not. It’s just proof that if you keep plugging away and working hard then the results sooner or later will come and today was that day. Finally, we got it right, my team did an excellent job, in particular at the end of the FP1 session on Friday morning when we made a big change to the bike’s set-up. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I had the pace to win though, because Johnny’s pace in race 1 was strong and consistent while I chose the wrong tyre. Even so I wasn’t sure if this tyre would make the difference. I’m very happy and thrilled to get this result going into the summer break and we will all certainly celebrate tonight!”
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19) – DNF / DNF
“I really feel bad about what happened today. At Turn 1 in the Superpole Race, Razgatlioglu completely closed my line and I couldn’t do anything to prevent his rear wheel from hitting my front. His move ruined both of my races today because I injured my left shoulder in the crash. I was taken to the medical centre and after checks, I was given the OK by the doctors to try and take part in Race 2, seeing as the X-ray showed that nothing was broken. Unfortunately, after just one lap I realized that the pain was too much for me to ride because as I didn’t have any strength in my left arm I wasn’t able to brake in the left-handers, and for this reason I came into the pits. I’m very sorry because we are working really well and always find the way to go fast, but in any case we’re going through a really difficult time at the moment. I’m sure that if we continue to work in this way, we’ll come back stronger than ever and with even more desire to win. As soon as I get back home, I’ll have more detailed checks done on my shoulder ligaments, but luckily two months’ break before the next race will surely allow me to fully recover.”