WorldSBK: Chaz Davies returns Ducati to the top with a double at Laguna Seca


Chaz Davies does the double at Laguna Seca for the World Superbike but the Ducati celebration was muted by tragedy in the supporting MotoAmerica categoriesFinish line celebrations for Davies and Ducati

Race one report:

Chaz Davies won the opening race of the day at Laguna Seca after a lights to flag display saw the British rider take the win by 1.798s.

After several days of blazing California sun, raceday at Laguna Seca for the GEICO US round, the 9th of the 2015 eni FIM Superbike World Championship season dawned with thunder and rain greeting the WorldSBK riders.

A wet warm-up saw the riders take to the track for the first time with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) fastest in the tricky conditions but thankfully by the time race 1 was scheduled to start the sun was shining and the track had dried.

Davies made the perfect start, taking the hole shot before opening up a 1.6s lead at the end of lap 5. Despite the Kawasaki pairing of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea giving chase they were unable to reel in the Racing Ducati rider who romped to the victory, his 6thWorldSBK win and the 2nd for the Panigale machine.

At the flag and after a tense, race long duel 2nd and 3rd went to Sykes and Rea, the pair pushing each other to the limit throughout.

Davide Giugiano ( Racing – Ducati SBK Team) finished a lonely 4th after regrouping from a poor start, the Italian who started on the front row eventually getting the better of Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) who rode a solid race to 5th.

Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) inherited 6th after Leon Haslam slid out of contention, while reigning champion Sylvain Guintoli powered the Pata Honda to 7th ahead of his team mate and reigning World Supersport champion Michael van der Mark.

Leandro Mercado impressed to 9th aboard the Barni Racing Ducati, the Argentine rider recovering from a huge crash earlier in the weekend.

10th place after 25 enthralling laps went to Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), with Randy de Puniet (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) and Roman Ramos (Team Go Eleven) completing the top 12.

Davies leads the charge

Leon Haslam scored 3 points for 13th after nursing the Aprilia to the finish after rejoining ahead of the youngest rider in the field Christophe Ponsson (Team Pedercini) who was 14th.

Gianluca Vizziello (Grillini Racing) scored his first WorldSBK with a 15th place finish.

Althea Racing had a difficult race with Niccolo Canepa suffering a technical problem at turn two on the opening lap. His team mate Matteo Baiocco had an incident at the start before crashing half way around the opening lap at the corkscrew.

Race one results:  1  Chaz Davies – Ducati  2.  Tom Sykes – Kawasaki   3.   Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki

 Ducati dominates, Kawasaki 2nd and 3rd

Race Two report:

Once again leading from the start Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati SBK Team) tried to make the break, but unlike race 1 he was closely followed in the early stages by the Kawasaki Racing Team pairing of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea, with Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) running strongly in 4th.

Behind Davies by 1.406s at the flag was Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea, the podium in race 2 being a carbon copy of the first encounter.

Aprilia Racing riders Jordi Torres and Leon Haslam were 4th and 5th respectively after a 25 lap duel. They finished comfortably ahead of Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia) who had a lonely ride to 6th after failing to finish race 1.

Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) got the better of Niccolo Canepa (Althea Racing) in their personal on track fight for 7th with Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing) once again 9th ahead of Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse).

The remaining point scorers were Randy de Puniet (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Roman Ramos (Team Go Eleven), Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing), Gianluca Vizziello (Grillini Racing) and Christophe Ponsson (Team Pedercini).

Drops of rain began to fall at the start of lap 2 claiming Davide Giugliano ( Racing – Ducati SBK Team) and reigning champion Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), the pair crashing out with Giugliano taken to the medical centre for checks.  Guintoli made it back to the garage.

Davies Ducati Panigale R

The next round of the eni FIM Superbike World takes place in Sepang, Malaysia (rd 10) in two weeks.

Race Two results:  1  Chaz Davies – Ducati  2.  Tom Sykes – Kawasaki   3.   Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki


Statement from Laguna Seca/MotoAmerica

MONTEREY, CA, JULY 19 – A chain-reaction, multi-bike incident on the first lap of today’s second MotoAmerica Superbike/Superstock 1000 race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has resulted in the deaths of two competitors.

Bernat Martinez, of Alberic, Valencia, Spain, was transported from the raceway by ambulance to Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula (CHOMP) in Monterey, where he succumbed to his injuries. He was 35.

Daniel Rivas Fernandez, of Moana Galicia, Spain, was transported by REACH Medical Air Services to Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, where he also succumbed to injuries. He was 27.

“I really don’t have any words to describe what we all feel,” said MotoAmerica president Wayne Rainey. “First and foremost, is the loss to the families and loved ones. Our sincere condolences goes out to each and every one of them as well as the MotoAmerica family. They are in our thoughts and prayers.”

“We are deeply saddened to learn the news of the passing of Bernat Martinez and Daniel Rivas,” said Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “Our prayers and hearts go out to their families and teams.”