World SBK: They said and we saw – a further look at Laguna Seca


RacerViews’ Jim Fonseca was at the Laguna Seca Raceway for the World SBK. We take a look at this great gallery and check out the thoughts of the riders


Chaz Davies:

“We’ve come close before now but today we finally did it! This has been my only goal since coming to Ducati and I’m very pleased to have achieved this result here. It’s extremely important to me, to be able to repay Ducati, Aruba and all of the ducatisti with the first win for the Panigale R. I know that everyone has been working tirelessly to obtain this result. Race 1 was also really enjoyable and I was happy with the podium but just disappointed with the position, as I really wanted the win. I didn’t have a lot of opportunity to make passes but tried where I could in the final stages. I made a small mistake in the middle of the race, selecting an incorrect electronic setting on the bike and losing maybe a second to the Kawasakis but fortunately I was able to make it back up and push all the way to the line. All in all, it’s been a fantastic day with results that I hope to repeat very soon.”


 Sylvain Guintoli:

“I had a really good start to race one but I wasn’t able to keep the pace after the first few laps. I felt I was losing out on corner exit and having to try really hard to make it up on the brakes, which was difficult. In race two, the start was OK but on lap two I was lining up to pass into the last corner when [Alex] Lowes entered the pit lane without any signal and I crashed. It was a really, really upsetting way to finish the weekend, but we’ll just have to come back fighting in Sepang in two weeks.”



Jonathan Rea:

“I tried a lot but there was nothing I could do to go through on Tom in race one. He also had a good pace but I am sure I had a higher pace. I just could not get around him. I tried a few times and ran wide and it was very clear if I was to stick a pass it had to be an aggressive one and in the last laps I did not get an opportunity. He was riding quite smart. In the final corner I was a little bit behind and it was one of those where you had to be clever as well, because 16 points is a lot better than zero. We also had a good pace in race two but it was a little bit my fault because I made too many mistakes. Tom and I both lost a lot of time to Chaz when the rain was coming but we ended up with a really good pace together. Today we played the long game a little bit and third is where I could finish.”


Santiago Barragan

We have had some good races and scored some points. I think I’ve learnt a lot about the sport, the circuits and the Pirelli tyres. But we are a bit stuck with engine performance and that is limiting us a lot. Most teams were at the level we now have at the beginning of the season; while they have continued to make progress, we have been steady, so it is difficult to be able to fight and achieve our goals. We end up having to depend on others not finishing than ourselves making progress.


 Tom Sykes:

“Jonathan and I had a great battle for the entire first race. I had plus zero on my pit board, so I just had to manage the situation. I felt the rear tyre drop and had to compensate in some areas, trying to do some things slightly differently. It was not ideal but overall I am happy with second position considering the circumstances. We made two small changes for race two and it was strange because at the beginning I felt I had a really good bike set-up but in the rain Chaz (Davies) took a couple of more risks. It paid off because he made a big gap and I think that was probably the deciding factor in the race. We had a couple of warnings and I was just not able to stick with Chaz. Overall, I am fairly satisfied but we were just not close enough. Two second places are acceptable but another rider took the prizes this weekend.”


Davide Giugliano:

“It was not my day. In race one I lost a lot of time trying to get past Torres and then, once I’d done that, there was no chance to catch the three guys up ahead and so I had to be happy with fourth. We made some changes for race 2 but they were not needed in the end as I crashed almost immediately. To be honest, I was really scared as I thought I’d hurt my back again, but the doctors assure me that I am ok. I’m really sorry as we had a good chance to do well…”


Alex Lowes:

“I felt good in race one. I made a small mistake in the first turn, but I recovered from that and it was great to race, catch and pass Sylvain and close down on Leon on the factory Aprilia. The bike felt much better than it has done recently and we made good progress over the course of the weekend. The second race I was fully fired up for a good fight to try and get involved at the front but immediately on the first lap it felt like I had a front puncture, the bike was folding everywhere and I had no choice but to come into the pit. The bike itself felt perfect, the same as race one, but we will have to investigate the situation with the tyre. Because it was spitting with rain and the race was effectively over having come in, we threw wet tyres on just in case the rain got heavy which would have allowed us to get back involved. Unfortunately the rain didn’t come, I was out for a few laps but it was clear there was nothing more to be gained. A disappointing end to a really good weekend but the first race has set me up well for the 8Hour next week and I will be coming back to WSBK in Sepang knowing that we can fight with the group.”


 Leon Haslam

“Unfortunately, in Race 1 we struggled,” the Englishman reported. “I had trouble maintaining the pace and after the crash the only thing on my mind was finishing the race, given the damage to my bike as well. We took a big step forward for Race 2. I rode much better, especially in the initial phases of the race. Then our pace dropped off a bit and I’m disappointed about that because I know that my bike had great potential. The biggest problem was consistency, in addition to a couple of turns where I was struggling. We’ll evaluate some further changes now that we can make for Malaysia, which is a track where we can definitely be very competitive.”


 Leandro Mercado

“Within two minutes of FP2, I was highsiding at Turn 3. That left me with a fractured tow and a bruised ankle. However, we were fortunate and I was able to finish in the top ten in both races once again. After the crash we had lost a lot of track time, but I was gritting my teeth and fought through it.”


The Laguna Seca track is unique – the run off is very dusty, unlike the tarmac we see at so many tracks these days


It is not going to be going this slow for long


Chaz Davies took the first double for Ducati for years…the dry spell went all the way back to 2013!


There was a lot of celebration back in the podium area for the Ducat squad


Everyone loves a bit of champagne!


Photos by Jim Fonseca July 2015

Words by World SBK PR

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